UK’s first HVDC cable factory receives planning approval
The North Ayrshire Council Planning Committee has granted planning permission for XLCC to build the first HVDC subsea cable factory in the UK.
The HVDC subsea cable manufacturing facility, which will be located in Hunterston, Scotland, received the planning approval on 29 June.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming months, and once fully operational, the facility is expected to support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.
“We look forward to delivering a factory of great local and international importance for HVDC subsea cable,” said project director for XLCC, Alan Mathers. “The UK will be positioned as a world leader in the green economy, with the site at Hunterston playing a key role in connecting cheap, green energy from renewables projects around the world.”
The UK company signed an option agreement with Peel Ports Clydeport for two factories in Ayrshire that would produce HVDC subsea cable in August 2021.
XLCC’s first order is for four 3,800 kilometers long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK for the Xlinks Morocco-UK interconnector.
To support the recruitment drive locally, the company is working with Ayrshire College to increase the number of Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) courses available to students.
Additional course content will be provided by MarCable Consulting and will deliver cable manufacturing fundamentals.
According to XLCC, sixty HVDC Jointers in total will be needed for the facility.
Training will include two months in a specialist facility in Germany to develop base-level skills, with return to Hunterston seeing further development through on-the-job training, working on test lengths of cable to produce certified HVDC joints ahead of full cable production.
“Working with XLCC to deliver our new courses provides students with the potential to put their studies to use in the local area. Following successful completion of the Ayrshire College course, there will be a guaranteed interview opportunity to train as an HVDC Jointer for XLCC,” Gavin Murray, assistant principal at Ayrshire College, said.
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