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Scotland Repurposes Old Nuclear Plant for Morocco-UK Marine Xlinks Project

Rabat – Scottish Enterprise, a public agency, pledged £9 million (MAD 113 million) to repurpose a former nuclear plant, Hunterston, to manufacture the high-voltage £1.4 billion (MAD 17 billion) cable for Xlink’s green power project that is set to power the UK grid with solar and wind energy from Southern Morocco.

The factory is expected to generate 900 permanent jobs, according to a report from The Energyst on Monday.

The report explains that the British startup behind the Xlinks project was unable to find a global supplier for all four cables needed in the £18 billion mega-project. The company eventually decided to build their factory in Scotland.

XLCC, a subsidiary of Xlinks, will oversee the construction of the cable. Xlinks aims to build four HVDC cables each spanning 3,800 kilometers, the longest in the world.

The cables will link solar and wind farms in southern Morocco, crossing the Bay of Biscay to reach Alverdiscott in north Devon, and providing dedicated input to the UK’s National Grid.

Scottish Enterprise’s funding was confirmed on Monday following approval from North Ayrshire planners for the cable-making facility. To gain the approval, XLCC relied on industry projections indicating that global demand for new subsea power transmission will surpass supply by 2.5 times by 2030.

Ian Douglas, the head of the cable-making company, welcomed Scottish Enterprise’s decision, emphasizing XLCC’s commitment to building a greener future for Scotland and the wider UK.

He stated: “Investing in and mobilizing the power of local communities is vital, as green energy is the future, and we want to empower Scotland to be part of the transition.” 

Douglas said that XLCC would collaborate closely with Team Scotland, partnering with organizations such as Scottish Enterprise, North Ayrshire Council, Skills Development Scotland, and local schools and training institutions to maximize benefits for the nation and the southwest.

Adrian Gillespie, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, highlighted the potential transformative impact of XLCC’s plans on the regional economy and Scotland’s offshore renewables capability. 

Neil Gray MSP, Scotland’s Wellbeing and Economy Secretary, said the £1.4 billion project is a significant vote of confidence in Scotland’s renewable energy revolution.

North Ayrshire Council’s leader Marie Burns, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the monumental nature of this investment for the North Coast, North Ayrshire, and beyond.

Source: Morocco World News