A joint venture (JV) partnership between Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and the Wales Division of Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, has been awarded a contract by Vattenfall to provide civil and electrical infrastructure for the Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project.
To be built on publicly-owned land managed by the Forestry Commission Wales, the proposed plant, claimed to be the largest onshore project in England and Wales, will feature 76 turbines totalling up to 250MW, which is enough electricity to power 140,000 homes.
According to the contract, the JV will construct 76 turbine bases and crane pads using 50,000m3 of concrete and 6,000t of reinforcement. The project site also requires the construction of around 80km of access tracks, as well as 80km of cabling.
The JV will begin construction on the project, located between Neath and Aberdare in South Wales, in February 2014, and expects to complete the civil engineering work by August 2015. ABB, working with Balfour Beatty in Wales, will deliver the grid infrastructure for Vattenfall.
Jones Bros managing director Huw Jones said that Vattenfall has selected the Welsh joint venture for the Pen y Cymoedd contract and the company will closely work with Balfour Beatty on the project.
In May 2012, Vattenfall had received consent from the Department of Energy and Climate Change for the proposed project, construction of which is estimated to cost around £300m (€353.2m) and inject £1bn (€1.17bn) into the Welsh economy over its 25 years of operation.
The project, which will increase Welsh renewable electricity generation by 37% when complete, expects to generate its first power in 2016 and become fully operational in spring 2017.
In another development, Vattenfall has awarded a contract to Mabey Bridge of Wales for the supply of 18 turbine towers for its Clashindarroch wind farm in north-east Scotland.
Altogether, Vattenfall has announced contract wins valued at more than £100m (€117.7m) for Wales, supporting more than 350 Welsh jobs over the next two years.
Vattenfall director of onshore wind Piers Guy said that these large contracts represent that the Welsh workforce has the skills and capabilities to work on large onshore wind energy projects in Wales and beyond.
Image: Welsh joint venture to deliver flagship wind farm development). Photo: courtesy of Jones Bros.