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Japanese firm Sumitomo Electrical Industries to develop power cable factory in Scottish Highlands

03 May 2023 • 5 minute read

Learn more about the Japanese firm’s recent announcement

Sumitomo Electrical Industries’ development plans are the latest in a long line of game-changing projects Scotland is attracting with its international presence and reputation for innovation.

Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) has announced plans to establish a subsea electric cable manufacturing plant in the Scottish Highlands. The plant is set to bring £200m of investment and create 150 jobs.

Scotland’s world-leading climate targets have created a rich and opportune market for global companies with products and services that facilitate the net zero transition. SEI is seeking to capture a part of this market: the increasing demand for high end subsea power cables.

SEI has already undertaken similar projects in Europe, having delivered and commissioned its high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cross-linked polyethylene-insulated (XLPE) submarine cable system for the UK-Belgium interconnector (NEMO Link) in 2019. The success of which led to multiple contracts in the global market, including the Greenlink interconnector, a project connecting the UK and Ireland.

Scotland’s international presence

With a presence in more than 30 locations across the world, Scottish Development International (SD) is Scotland’s international trade and investment agency. Our team of specialists work tirelessly to encourage companies to choose Scotland for growth, promoting our country’s unique strengths and propositions when it comes to international investment.

Our colleagues in Japan have developed a relationship with Sumitomo over a significant period of time, highlighting why Scotland would be an ideal location for this proposed facility.  Alongside our partners, we will continue to work with the company as it further develops its plans for this innovative project.

Find out more about our global offices 

How Sumitomo will contribute to Scotland’s net zero goals

A huge element of Scotland’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2045 is by utilising our unrivalled natural resources – one of which is wind.

Scotland has 12,000 kilometres of coastline and more than 790 islands perfectly positioned to take advantage of the natural energy contained in the gusts that come its way, which is why it already has such an impressive pipeline of offshore wind projects and energy services.

Any project that uses offshore turbines requires high quality subsea cables to connect the wind farms to the shore and supplying electricity into the existing power grid infrastructure. This is where SEI comes in.

SEI has a proven track record of delivering power cables for offshore wind power projects around the world, including UK, Germany, Taiwan Korea and also first commercial offshore wind farm in Akita Japan.

The new Highlands site will supply cables for offshore wind farms and further grid connections, which are essential for the introduction of renewable energies to the Scotland’s electricity transmission systems.

Learn more about Scotland’s offshore wind industry 

Scotland’s offshore wind leasing

As well as world-leading projects, Scotland has also recently concluded its first offshore wind leasing round in more than a decade via ScotWind leasing. This multi-billlion pound investment opportunity is set to be a major part of powering the transition to a net-zero future.

Companies at the cutting edge of offshore renewables have been invited to help build Scotland’s new generation of offshore wind farms, with a potential capacity of more than 27GW over 20 new sites.

A recent report by fDI Intelligence, a specialist division of The Financial Times Ltd, estimated that ScotWind will generate £50 billion of investment over and above the billions of pounds already in the pipeline of projects.

This means Scotland will be a world top ten offshore wind market, with a project pipeline in the order of 37.6GW. And with 14 of these sites set to deliver up to 18GW of floating wind, plus the potential for a further 4GW to 5GW in the new Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) decarbonisation round, Scotland is now the largest floating offshore wind market in the world.

You can read more about this report opens in a new window on the fDI Intelligence website.

About Sumitomo Electrical Industries

Sumitomo was founded in 1897 in Osaka, Japan and has since grown its business operations into several major industries including electronics, industrial materials, and energy.

Learn more on the SEI website opens in a new window  

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