Xlinks, developers of a £16 billion scheme to pipe solar & wind power from Morocco to Britain, have a new CEO.

James Humfrey, pictured, has 25 years’ experience in leading complex international projects, most recently with state hydrocarbon firm ADNOC in Abu Dhabi. There he led project and business development including the establishment of a new $25 billion chemical park.

Humfrey also led ADNOC’s New Energies Division, developing the region’s first world scale blue ammonia plant and CCS pilot. He also delivered the acquisition of a stake in Masdar, the Emirati-owned renewables generator with a 20GW portfolio.  Humfrey pioneered the formation of Masdar Green Hydrogen, as well as serving as a director of the firm’s Infineum offshoot.

Xlinks co-founder Simon Morrish will continue as group CEO, working hand-in-hand with Humfrey on the scheme’s development. He remains responsible for key strategic relationships and growing Xlinks’ portfolio of projects.

Morrish founded Xlinks in 2019, spearheading the concept and development of the project linking southern Morocco to its intended landfall in north Devon.

Xlinks is being designed to generate 11.5GW of zero-carbon power from southern Morocco’s sun and wind, delivering 3.6GW of reliable electricity to Britain alone for an average of 19 hours every day.

Power will run through 4,000km of high voltage DC subsea cables cables run under the sea bed.  Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8% of Great Britain’s electricity needs.

With commissioning set for the end of this decade, the project’s backers intend its low-cost, clean power will flow to over 7 million British homes.

With a capital budget of £16 Billion, the venture’s investors include global energy brands such as TotalEnergies, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Britain’s Octopus Energy.

Stabilising intermittency from Xlinks’ unprecedented renewables capacity, an onsite 22.5GWh/5GW battery will provide storage to guarantee near-constant flows of flexible and predictable clean energy into the National Grid.

“I’m delighted that James has joined us to lead and grow a world-class team to deliver our ambitious vision“, said Morrish.  “We have other markets that are excited to harness the enormous benefits that long distance HVDC connectors can deliver to help solve the intermittency of renewables.

Humfrey said: “Joining Xlinks First as CEO is a fantastic opportunity to lead the first-of-its-kind Morocco – UK Power Project in achieving its goal to deliver a near constant, clean and affordable supply of electricity to the UK. This will play a key role in the Morocco and UK’s future prosperity.

Sir Dave Lewis, executive chairman of the Billericay-based developer, added : “James Humfrey brings a wealth of expertise in delivering large complex energy projects to Xlinks, along with experience of working with major global investors in the industry.

”James’ appointment will allow our Founder and Group CEO, Simon Morrish, to focus on developing future energy projects to boost the global grid and help meet global net-zero targets.”


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