A proposed factory in Ayrshire which it is hoped will create 900 permanent jobs has been granted full planning permission.

North Ayrshire Council granted full permission on Wednesday for XLCC’s proposed high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable manufacturing operations on a brownfield site at Hunterston. XLCC aims to capitalise on a projected surge in demand for high-voltage cables as countries look to ramp up renewable energy provision.

UK-based XLCC said: “The decision paves the way for construction to commence and follows outline planning permission granted last year.”

Work on the site will start in early 2024 with the start of cable production slated for 2026.

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XLCC said: “Development of the brownfield site will create a new UK industry to support global decarbonisation targets. By 2025, the facility will support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.

“Demand for high-voltage cables is set to increase six-fold over the next seven years, as many countries look globally to expand their sources of renewable energy.”

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XLCC noted its first order is for four, 3,800-kilometre cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK for the Xlinks Morocco-UK power project.

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It said it had also secured additional memoranda of understanding for domestic projects.

A spokesman for XLCC said: "The 900 new, permanent roles are for the factory only. The new HVDC subsea cable industry will also create thousands of additional jobs indirectly, such as supply of raw materials, factory fit-outs and fabrication - local businesses for specialist equipment, corporate and support services, etc."

The company currently employs more than 20 people, with the spokesman noting it had been supported by a further 100 people in various roles to "design, plan and optimise the factory layout, equipment and cable-laying vessel".

XLCC chief executive Ian Douglas said: “To deliver the energy transition and achieve net zero, the improved global transmission of electricity is critical. Put simply, there can be no transition without transmission. As demand for HVDC cables continues to boom, we are excited to bring such a significant project to an area with a proud industrial pedigree.

“We thank the local community and North Ayrshire Council for their constructive engagement and support during the process, and we look forward to working with them and other local partners to ensure the factory delivers maximum benefits to Hunterston and the wider region.”

XLCC highlighted its ambition to “establish a new, export-led, green industry in the UK: world-class HVDC subsea cable manufacturing", declaring: "Our mission is to provide the connectivity required for renewable power to meet future global energy needs”.

It said it would provide a number of different services including HVDC subsea extruded cable, as well as cable laying, protection and repair.

The company added: “XLCC produces HVDC cables that run deep under the sea in most cases, enabling the transfer of renewable power from generation sites to end users. In this way, subsea cable technology has a significant impact in reducing the environmental consequences of electricity generation consumption around the globe.

XLCC declared it would work to reduce the impact of its own activities, from factory operations to how it  buries cable under the seabed, and noted it was "committed to working with its clients to deliver environmental impact assessments which meet the requirements of all local regulations".