An Anglesey construction firm has recently been awarded a £2m contract by Morlais main contractor, Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, to build the structures associated with the landfall substation for the Holy Island tidal energy scheme.
With the appointment of Llangefni-based OBR Construction, Morlais, a Menter Môn project, is again delivering on its pledge to benefit local communities, businesses, and the economy. Securing local benefit has been an important driver of this project for Menter Môn since its inception over seven years ago.
Andy Billcliff, Chief Executive Officer at Morlais said: “This is more good news for the local economy with Morlais providing further jobs and opportunities on Anglesey. The appointment of OBR to build the structures for the substation means we can continue to safeguard employment on the island as well as create new training opportunities for young people. It was crucial for us at Morlais to secure these contracts locally and we feel that we are delivering on that front.”
Rhys Parry Jones, Managing Director of OBR Construction, explains: “We are delighted to be working with Morlais and Jones Bros to deliver this part of the project. We are looking forward to working with the team on this pioneering low carbon energy project.
“As a direct consequence of being awarded this contract, we have already taken on two new apprentices, and are looking forward to further developing and expanding our team in the region.”
Brendan Fieldhouse, Contracts Manager for Jones Bros, added: “We would like to congratulate OBR on the successful award of this contract to construct the main buildings and transformer compound at the landfall substation.
“OBR is a local company, with a proven track record of successfully delivering similar work across Anglesey, Wales as well as UK wide. We look forward to developing our relationship with OBR over the course of the project.”
The Morlais project manages a 35 km2 area of seabed off the coast of Holy Island, Anglesey and has the potential to put Ynys Môn on the map in terms of tidal stream energy. It is the first project of this scale and type to be managed by social enterprise.
With onshore construction already underway, it is anticipated that work in the sea will begin in 2023 and that the first turbines will generate electricity in 2024.
Morlais is funded by the European Regional Development fund through the Welsh Government for the first phase of construction work. The Isle of Anglesey County Council, North Wales Growth Deal, as well as The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have also supported the project.
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Notes to editors
- Menter Môn is a social enterprise which works across Wales to deliver a range of regeneration, environmental and cultural projects for the benefit of local communities. By working in partnership with government, the third sector, business, and individuals, Menter Môn attracts funding from different sources to add value and to contribute to creating a sustainable future. Morlais is a Menter Môn project.
- In 2014 Menter Môn secured the 49-year lease from Crown Estate for what was then known as the West Anglesey Demonstration Zone – now Morlais. The zone was one of several designated around the UK for the purpose of facilitating the promoting the tidal energy sector.
- The potential generating capacity for Morlais is 240MW – enough to power around 180,000 typical households.
- Jones Bros was established in the 1950s and owns one of the largest plant fleets in the UK and employs approximately 500 people. The company is currently working on contracts in various sectors including highways, flood and marine defence, waste managementand renewable energy around the UK.
- The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced nearly 50 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.