France’s TotalEnergies invests $25 million in British start-up Xlinks

The start-up plans to build world's longest high-voltage direct current subsea power cable between Morocco and the UK

TotalEnergies will invest $25 million in British energy start-up Xlink First. Reuters
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France’s TotalEnergies has invested £20 million ($25.3 million) to acquire a minority stake in British start-up Xlinks, which plans to build the world's longest high-voltage direct current subsea power cable between Morocco and the UK.

In April, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, invested £25 million in the company. UK energy retailer Octopus Energy also announced a £5 million investment.

The high-voltage direct current (HVDC) project, expected to provide the UK with 3.6 gigawatts of electricity derived from renewable energy sources, would be able to power seven million British homes by the end of the decade.

The electricity will be generated by a 10.5-gigawatt project involving solar and wind farms in Morocco's Guelmim-Oued Noun region. Four subsea HVDC cables will link it to the UK power grid in Devon, south-west England.

“We are excited to welcome Europe’s largest energy company to be a part of our ambitious vision to foster long-distance power exchanges through this iconic partnership with the UK and Morocco,” said Simon Morrish, chief executive of Xlinks.

“TotalEnergies’ investment goes far beyond capital, providing a rare combination of expertise in areas that meet the unique challenges we face.”

Morocco, which imports more than 90 per cent of its energy requirements, has been one of the early adopters of renewable energy in the Mena region.

The country aims to boost its renewable capacity to 12 gigawatts by 2030 to meet its growing power needs, as well as increase its clean energy capacity.

“This innovative project will benefit from our track record in developing large and complex integrated energy projects,” said Vincent Stoquart, senior vice president of renewables at TotalEnergies.

In September, TotalEnergies and a subsidiary of India’s Adani Group agreed to form a joint venture comprising solar and wind power assets with a capacity of 1,050 megawatts.

The portfolio of the new venture, equally owned by the two companies, includes operational projects as well as assets under construction or in the development phase.

TotalEnergies holds a 50 per cent stake in Adani Total Private and a 37.4 per cent stake in Adani Total Gas, which develops distribution networks to supply piped natural gas.

The European energy major also picked up a 20 per cent stake in Adani Green Energy in 2021.

Updated: November 29, 2023, 9:11 AM