The company behind plans for a £1.4 billion subsea cable manufacturing development at Hunterston has announced the appointment of a 'chief technology officer' as it steps up its work on the project.

XLCC says that Vegar Syrtveit Larsen will be responsible for "supercharging the leadership team for the next generation off HVDC [high voltage direct current] rollout".

Mr Larsen's appointment follows news in January that Trevor Nash and Patrick Beringer will be joining XLCC as its chief commercial officer and general counsel respectively.

The facility is expected to support 900 jobs when fully operational.

HDVC networks are designed to connect up power grids, with the XLCC project seen as vital as the UK looks to get more energy from renewable sources such as offshore wind, and less from imported fossil fuels.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Tech expert: Vegar LarsenTech expert: Vegar Larsen (Image: XLCC)

Planning permission for the Hunterston project was approved in May of last year, when XLCC announced that work on the site would start "in early 2024", with cable production expected to start in 2026.

Mr Larsen was previously vice-president (industrial) and general manager of grid and turnkey and offshore North America at Nexans, where he gained extensive experience with subsea high-voltage cable systems of the type set to be manufactured at Hunterston.

He said: “Joining XLCC represents a significant milestone in my career.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

"I am passionate about leveraging my global manufacturing and technical insights to revolutionize the renewable energy landscape with cutting-edge HVDC cable solutions.

"I look forward to driving XLCC's mission forward, alongside a talented team, to strengthen the renewable energy supply chain.”

Ian Douglas, XLCC's chief executive officer, said: “Vegar's arrival at XLCC brings us not only his exceptional technical skills but also a wealth of strategic industry insights.

"As we prepare to kickstart our ambitious project at Hunterston, his visionary leadership is exactly what we need to navigate the complexities of our rapidly evolving industry.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The company describes its upcoming Hunterston site as a "cornerstone project" which it says is "set to play a critical role in establishing an interconnected network of subsea cables that will drive the future of global energy supplies".

XLCC secured a £9m grant from Scottish Enterprise in November for the Hunterston project, with the funding body's chief executive, Adrian Gillespie, saying it had "the potential to be transformational for the regional economy, and an extremely important addition to Scotland’s offshore renewables capability".