Pen y Cymoedd local contracts

Neath and Wrexham businesses win major contracts on £400m energy project

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm

Express Reinforcements and Prysmian Cables & Systems have won work on one of the UK's largest onshore windfarms.

Renewable energy developer Vattenfall has announced two new multi-million pound contracts for work on its £400m Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project in south Wales.

The successful companies are Neath- based Express Reinforcements and Prysmian Cables & Systems’ Wrexham manufacturing facility. The announcements coincide with the laying of the first foundations for the 76 turbines at the Pen y Cymoedd project site in the county boroughs of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Since planning of the project began Vattenfall has worked to encourage as many local firms as possible to bid for contracts and sub contracts. After 12-months of a four-year construction programme £45m of contracts have been placed with Wales-based businesses. So far, more than 50 companies and 600 jobs in Wales have been supported by the project. It is expected to be worth up to £1 billion to the Welsh economy over its 25 year life time.

The Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Edward Davey, commented on the development and the local economic benefits it is delivering. He said:“This onshore wind project will be the largest in England and Wales and will send a clear signal about this Government’s commitment to the industry. It will add to our energy mix that is tackling climate change and boosting energy security through moves to increase ‘homegrown’ sources.

“The project is fantastic news for the local economy not just in terms of investment but for local growth and green jobs. Businesses in Wales have already received contracts worth £45m over the last year for the Pen y Cymoedd project and Vattenfall are committed to recruiting as many local people as possible. The area will also benefit from the annual £1.8m benefit fund for local community projects.

“All in all PyC is good news for the economy, for consumers and for the environment. It is just the latest example of the benefits that onshore wind is bringing to the UK.”

Vattenfall’s Director of Onshore Wind Development in the UK and UK Country Manager, Piers Guy, said: “This project is forging ahead after tremendous support from Government at UK, Wales and local authority levels, as well as Natural Resources Wales. From the outset Vattenfall has been determined to ensure that it is developed sensitively and will deliver tangible benefits in terms of contracts for local firms, new jobs and increasing prosperity.

“Vattenfall is delighted that so much work is going to firms with bases here in Wales. Every contract has been won on merit and it demonstrates that we have the enthusiasm, skills and supply chain capability here in Wales to help deliver the UK’s onshore wind potential.” Express Reinforcements will supply steel reinforcement for the turbine bases being constructed by the 50:50 joint venture between civil engineering firms Jones Bros and Balfour Beatty, both of which have a strong regional presence in Wales.

Express Reinforcements managing director Andy Lodge said: “We’re delighted to have been contracted to supply steel for such a significant project so close to our home base.

“Furthermore, in line with the values of the Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project as a whole, our raw materials have been sourced from within the UK and the steel itself is being made in Cardiff.”

Speaking on behalf of the joint venture, Huw Jones, managing director of Jones Bros, said: “The joint venture itself is working hard to engage the skills and resources available in the area.

“This includes employing local plant operators and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as contracts for companies like Express Reinforcements.”

Prysmian Cables & Systemsis providing the cables that will interconnect the two new high voltage substations that are being constructed by ABB, Vattenfall’s principal contractor for the wind farm’s connection to the National Grid. Darrell Cook, HV Systems, Business Director, Prysmian Cables & Systems, commented: “Prysmian is ideally suited to this type of contract. With complete local control over manufacturing and testing of the entire system we can be sure of both the quality and timely delivery to our customer. We are delighted to be involved in this project as it represents another step forward in the move towards renewable energy generation in the UK.”

Stephen Trotter, Managing Director ABB Power Systems UK and Ireland, added: “The Pen y Cymoedd grid connection project is a perfect example of ABB’s proven capability to undertake large turnkey substation projects anywhere in the UK thanks to our philosophy that integrates sophisticated engineering design skills and advanced technology with cost-effective delivery through the local supply chain.”

Pen y Cymoedd is in an area of Welsh Government woodland estate between Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf counties. When operational, in 2016/17, it is expected to generate enough power to meet the domestic needs of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda county boroughs.

In addition to economic support through its supply chain, the Pen y Cymoedd project will benefit neighbouring communities by its Community Fund of around £1.8m a year. The project’s ’Power in the Valleys’ campaign has been asking people how they think the money should be spent to deliver maximum local benefit.

Vattenfall has already funded a new £350,000 mountain bike trail in the Afan Forest Park, which is intended to boost local tourism. It will also fund upkeep of the 24km Blade Trail for ten years.