XLCC, the new HVDC, renewable energy focused business in the UK, has completed the concept design of an advanced, first-of-a-kind Cable Laying Vessel to be delivered in the first half of 2025.
As the world strives for Net Zero, the UK, EU and other world economies have set themselves ambitious targets for decarbonisation. The UK, for example, has stated that it will be powered entirely by clean energy by 2035 and that it will fully decarbonise the power system in the same time frame. This ambition is driving an exponential growth in high voltage cable demand as the increase in installation of offshore wind and interconnectors drive a forecast six times increase (2020 – 2027 over 2014 – 2020) for HVDC cable.
The planned delivery of the XLCC CLV will support the Morocco – UK Power Project, the first client project, through the delivery of four 3,800km subsea HVDC cables from a wind and solar generation site in Morocco to the UK.
Alan Mathers, XLCC Director comments, “Our Vessel will be, on delivery, the most sophisticated, capable and green Cable Layer in the world. With this capability, we will be able to deliver on increasing demands globally for HVDC cable deployment and fill a current and future void in the market.”
In close collaboration with Salt Ship Design, the team have started the development of the basic design of the vessel whilst working towards the selection of a successful yard. This approach saves time as activities are started prior to the selection of the shipyard, further mitigating risk for all parties. The vessel design is being developed from basic design stage in 3D engineering software for best definition of steel structures and interiors arrangement. Operational aspects of the cable handling have been studied in close collaboration with MAATS Tech and Global Marine.
Tor Henning Vestbøstad, Sales Director of Salt Ship Design said, “We are thrilled to be part of this exciting project, an enabler for more renewable energy to the world. The design is now matured to the level ready for pricing at yards and we are glad to continue the development of the project for further maturing the details.”
XLCC has appointed V.Group as their partner to support with the technical development and construction of the vessel. V.Group’s strategic collaboration is being supported by expertise and capabilities through its technical services, SeaTec, and the yard selection and appointment through its procurement and contracting platform, MARCAS. The tender process is now underway, with the aim to select the successful yard by end Q2 2022.
Elliot Gow, V.Group CEO – Marine Services, commented, “V.Group is honoured to be selected as the partner for this ambitious and exciting project that will bring long term, sustainable energy production to the UK, whilst further reducing the reliance on hydrocarbons. We look forward to working with the highly capable team within XLCC, adding our blend of marine, technical and commercial expertise to bring this vessel successfully into operation.”
The design will shortly be released for tender to an identified shortlist of shipyards capable of delivering on such an ambitious project.