Jones Bros reaches milestone moment for key tidal energy scheme20th Oct 2023

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK’s work on “groundbreaking project” Morlais was hailed as first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford officially opened the development’s substation.

The Ruthin-headquartered firm built the onshore infrastructure for the Anglesey tidal energy scheme after securing the main contract worth £24.6 million.

Activity included constructing the landfall substation on Holy Island as well as the cabling works which will connect it to the National Grid.

Once fully operational, the Menter Môn-led venture, will have the potential to generate up to 240MW of electricity – enough to power around 180,000 typical households.

The first minister said: “Morlais is a groundbreaking project and a key part of our transition to a low carbon economy.

“It is an example of the type of development that will help Wales reach our net zero targets and underlines the importance of investing in clean energy infrastructure for our future generations.”

More than 70 Jones Bros staff, including 10 apprentices, worked on the scheme across 20 months.

The civil engineering firm also utilised local suppliers and subcontractors with more than 20 North Wales-based companies engaged.

Eryl Roberts, contracts director for Jones Bros, said: “It’s fantastic to see our work marked by such a special occasion, and I know that each and every member of the team is thrilled to have played their part.

“We are passionate about the renewables sector, so this project taking a significant step closer to generating low carbon electricity is wonderful.

“We also promised to provide opportunities to the local supply chain and apprentices, and we have delivered on that front as well as completing our activity ahead of schedule.”

The first tidal devices of the venture, financed by the European Regional Development fund through the Welsh Government, are expected to be deployed at sea in 2026.

Speaking at the official opening, Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a director with Morlais, added: “From day one we’ve been committed to advancing a more sustainable and renewable energy future and today’s achievement reflects our team’s dedication.

“I’m excited to see our efforts come to fruition as we get closer to generating electricity off the coast of Anglesey.”

Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros 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 management and renewable energy around the UK.

The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced nearly 40 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.