Sumitomo Electric UK Power Cables Ltd (SEUK), a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (SEI), is to develop a facility in the Scottish Highlands, with a purpose-built factory for high-voltage cables, long-term site leasing in the area and investments in machinery and equipment.

The new facility will reduce lead times for subsea cables, currently in high demand in the North Sea region and Europe as offshore wind projects ramp up. The factor will also be integral to the ScotWind and INTOG leasing round that could add 30GW of offshore wind generation capacity if all projects are developed according to plan.

The Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), and Scottish Enterprise agreed funding to secure the project providing high-voltage cables to the developing offshore wind industry. Support for the project includes £19.37m from the Scottish Government, £4.6m from HIE, and £530,000 from Scottish Enterprise.

The Highland Council has approved a 57,500m2 factory near Easter Ross’ Port of Nigg yard, intended to strengthen energy security and generate economic activity regionally and nationally. The site will create 330 jobs in Scotland over ten years, with 265 in the Highlands and Islands, as well as 156 well-paid manufacturing roles on-site.

Màiri McAllan, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy, said of the announcement: “This major investment in the Highlands will support the delivery of the First Minister’s flagship commitment of up to £500m over five years to anchor our offshore wind supply chain and create good, green jobs. The Nigg project is a significant milestone in bringing the infrastructure and manufacturing facilities critical to the growth of our world-leading offshore wind sector – and an important step towards our vision for Scotland’s net zero economy.”

SEUK’s decision to invest in the Highlands was influenced by the recently designated Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.

Adrian Gillespie, Scottish Enterprise chief executive, said: “Scottish Enterprise’s new approach to working with companies includes our energy transition mission, which aims to accelerate technology innovation, supply chain capability and investment in manufacturing and key infrastructure. Sumitomo is a great example of this in action and, alongside our Team Scotland partners, we’ll continue to work closely with the company as it expands its operations here.”

Yasuyuki Shibata, chairman of Sumitomo Electric UK Power Cables Ltd, said: “Establishment of a Sumitomo cable making facility, producing state-of-the-art cable, in the UK, specifically Scotland and the Highlands, is testament to the support received from all stakeholders involved in the project. We are particularly thankful for the backing received from the UK and Scottish governments, HIE and Scottish Development International in this venture.”

To learn more about how Scotland’s flourishing offshore wind sector can help with your development projects, download the document below.