RWE npower renewables has awarded north Wales-based Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK a £6.6m contract to carry out a major pipeline replacement scheme at it’s Dolgarrog Power Station
The contract for works in the Conwy Valley, will provide a welcome north Wales jobs boost, as the Ruthin-based company seeks local labour, as well as contractors to carry out specialist work.
The project involves the replacement and undergrounding of 1200 metres of the existing over ground pipe from Coedty dam to an area called Marble Arch, above the village of Dolgarrog.
The pipeline is over 90 years old and at the end of its working life, but the replacement works will preserve power generation and therefore local jobs at Dolgarrog for the foreseeable future.
RWE npower renewables Project Director Oliver Wilson said: “We are delighted to be able to award this crucial contract to a locally-based firm, especially one with such a great reputation and which is looking to recruit locally, passing on the benefits of this investment into the local area.
“We will be circulating more information about the works and progress shortly, and there will be opportunity for local people to find out more about the project at an open day in Tal y Bont on 5 December.
“In the wake of Thursday’s Energy Bill, we hope to unlock even more opportunities like this as we progress our portfolio of renewables projects in Wales, including the likes of Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm, at Ruthin. With up to 32 turbines proposed, Clocaenog could generate significant long term jobs and investments into the local area.”
The new pipe will be buried in an underground trench that will help to enhance the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, said Jones Bros project manager Ivan Rawlins.
The project will be divided into two parts, with highway widening and preparatory works taking place during the coming winter months. The main pipeline construction work is planned over an intensive six-month period between spring and autumn 2013.
“We are delighted to win the contract and, in the coming weeks, will be creating employment as we seek on-site operatives and contractors to carry out work such as stone walling and fencing,” said Ivan.
The site is on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, near to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Jones Bros will be working closely with ecological consultants and environmentalists to ensure the protection of its natural beauty.
“Jones Bros has considerable experience of ensuring the protection of the natural environment after its work to construct the Porthmadog bypass,” explained Ivan. “We will be working very closely with ecologists to ensure the safe ‘translocation’ of the area’s flora and fauna.”
The Coedty (or ‘Low Head’) scheme generates a large amount of renewable electricity, with a capacity of up to 15 megawatts (MW), enough to supply the domestic needs of more than 5,000 households.
Parts of the Dolgarrog hydro system are more than 100 years old and this project is part of an ongoing programme of maintenance and refurbishment.
Residents keen to find out more are invited to attend a residents’ meeting at Tal y Bont Memorial Hall on Wednesday, 5th December from 2pm to 7pm. Representatives from Jones Bros will be on hand to answer any questions and refreshments will also be available.
Founded in the 1950s and employing more than 300 people, in the last two years Jones Bros has also invested more than £4m in new plant and equipment.
Last year the company featured in an independently drawn-up Sunday Telegraph list of Britain’s brightest top 1,000 businesses, and in a separate survey it was also named one of the 50 fastest growing firms in Wales.