Hunterston Port and Resource Campus (Hunterston PARC) is primed to secure a deal with a sustainable energy sector company that would result in the creation of 900 permanent jobs at the giant Ayrshire site.
Owner Peel Ports Group Clydeport has signed an option agreement with XLCC for a 70-acre facility to include two factories producing state-of-the-art high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable for use in the subsea transmission of renewable energy.
The plan also includes the construction of research and development laboratories, offices, stores, electrical infrastructure and a high-tech cable delivery system, taking over almost a quarter of the land available for development at the former ore and coal terminal.
The development requires investment in the order of £370m for buildings and plant, with another £200m for a commissioned specialist ship capable of transporting the massively heavy cable reels. The vessel would be shared with a third XLCC factory planned for Wales.
XLCC has instigated the planning process with North Ayrshire Council and a planning application is expected to go before committee in February next year. If consent is given work would begin in April, with another 400 jobs created during the construction phase.
The schedule is for test lengths of cable to be made by April 2023, with 200 jobs in place at the start of that year. Full manufacturing production will be underway by November 2024 with the remaining 700 jobs in place between May 2024 and November 2024.