UK Starts Work on First Factory for Cables Key to Green Shift

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Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. has started building the UK’s first factory to make the subsea cables needed to transmit electricity from wind farms and other countries — a crucial element for the country to meet its climate goals.

The factory, at the Port of Nigg in northern Scotland, will produce the high voltage direct current cables capable of carrying power over long distances that wind farms desperately need. The factory will bring £350 million ($439 million) of investment as well as 150 highly skilled jobs to the area, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Europe doesn’t have enough cable manufacturers to meet its green ambitions and the firms that do make them are facing years of backlog with many booked out until 2030. 

Sumitomo already has an advance agreement with SSE Plc, the UK’s largest generator of renewable power, that’s chosen the Japanese firm as the preferred bidder for a major power link between the Shetland Islands and the mainland. 


The Shetland 2 power link is set to bring 2 gigawatts of renewable power 330 kilometers (205 miles) from the islands to the mainland. It is part of the National Grid Plc’s £58 billion plan for grid upgrades beyond 2030. About 21 gigawatts of offshore wind that’s in development off the coast of Scotland needs to be connected by the types of cables the new plant will manufacture.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Eamon Akil Farhat


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