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Xlinks Secures Substantial $24 Million Backing for UK-Morocco Clean Power Link Initiative

Image: The interconnector route skirts Portugal, Spain and France before linking to UK | Credit: Xlinks

An innovative interconnector initiative poised to unite the power systems of two nations has attracted substantial investment. In recent days, GE Vernova has invested $10.2 million and Africa Finance Corporation has contributed $14.1 million to the project's funding pool.

Xlinks, the driving force behind this ambitious endeavor to establish a significant power cable linking the UK grid with solar farms in Morocco, announced the influx of over $24 million from multiple investors.

GE Vernova's infusion of $10.2 million, swiftly followed by Africa Finance Corporation's backing of $14.1 million, underscores the growing momentum behind the UK-Morocco power link project. GE Vernova has assumed a minority stakeholder position in the venture, signaling a commitment to expediting project delivery and deployment.

These investors join a robust consortium with prominent backers such as Abu Dhabi National Energy Company TAQA, TotalEnergies, and Octopus Energy. The UK government has recognized the initiative as a 'project of national significance,' it is strategically vital in addressing Britain's burgeoning electricity demand.

The envisioned power link cable aims to deliver up to 3.6 gigawatts of clean energy from Morocco's abundant wind, solar, and battery storage resources to the UK. This capacity has the potential to meet approximately eight percent of Britain's current electricity needs, equivalent to powering around seven million average households.

The project entails the exclusive connection of over 10 gigawatts of wind and solar infrastructure in Morocco's Guelmim Oued Noun region to the southwest coast of the UK via 4,000 kilometers of subsea cables. This infrastructure investment aligns with the Climate Change Committee's projections, which anticipate a doubling of UK electricity demand by 2050.

"Bringing in an investor of the calibre of GE Vernova represents a further strategic step in the Morocco—UK Power Project's development, as we progress the project across several fronts," said James Humfrey, who was appointed CEO of Xlinks in February. Xlinks is committed to meeting the UK's need for reliable, affordable, zero-carbon energy while maximising the socio-economic benefits of the Project in Morocco."

The announcement comes after GE Vernova's nuclear business secured £33.6m from the UK Future Nuclear Enabling Fund earlier this year to support the rollout of "game-changing" small modular reactors in the UK.

CEO of GE Vernova's financial services business, Nomi Ahmad, said, "Collaboration across the energy sector is key to ensuring that more affordable, renewable energy is delivered to help meet the UK's electrification demands and help the nation meet its net zero goals."

"By leading the energy transition through our vast energy expertise, we help large-scale energy projects ensure deliverability and bankability," he said.

Samaila Zubairu, president and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation, also welcomed last week the firm's deepening collaboration with Xlinks.

"By harnessing the abundant wind and solar power of the Sahara and channelling it directly to one of Europe's largest energy markets, this project not only boosts the growth of Morocco's economy through significant export revenues but also catalyses the development of local clean energy industries," he said. 

"As this transformative project advances, it will benefit Morocco and Africa and significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the majority of investments set to drive this change occurring within the global south."


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