RWE npower renewables has awarded a £15 million cabling contract for the 576MW Gwynt Y Môr offshore wind farm to Welsh company Prysmian Cables & Systems.
Wrexham-based cable manufacturers Prysmian secured the contract against "tough UK and European competition" to manufacture and install cable along the 11.2km onshore export connection to the project, located in Liverpool Bay, around 18km off the North Wales coast.
According to RWE, this contract is one of the largest construction contracts for the project in the UK to date. And, the company was keen to highlight that it demonstrates its ongoing commitment to local business.
Commenting on the contract, Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm project director, Toby Edmonds, said: "This is a highly significant contract to deliver a crucial element of our Gwynt y Môr project, and we are delighted to be able to award this to Prysmian.
"High quality and reliable cables into the substation are absolutely critical to delivering the green energy benefits from this project into the UK. We were very impressed with Prysmian. The company was able to demonstrate excellent installation credentials and can manufacture the cable at its Wrexham facility, sustaining local jobs and investment."
He added that there was a huge potential for UK jobs and investment through the delivery of the governments' Renewable Energy Strategy.
Prysmian will start work installing the 132kV underground cables in September 2010, and is expected to be finished in around 20 months.
The onshore cable will connect to the offshore cable network at the beach landing point in Pensarn, and will be routed underground to the new electricity substation in St Asaph.
In total, there are four circuits, each consisting of three cables. Prysmian will manufacture the full 134.4km length of 132kV cable at its Wrexham plant, marking the "largest single order" of 132kV cable produced at the factory.
Commenting on securing the contract, Prysmian business development manager, Emyr Thomas, said: "We believe that our Wrexham manufacturing facility is second to none; we provide high quality cable at a competitive price into a demanding market.
"We combine our proven ability to provide innovative turnkey solutions for the complete installation contract and this has allowed Prysmian to secure the prestigious Gwynt y Môr turnkey project against stiff competition.
Welcoming the news that a local company has won the contract, Welsh Assembly Government Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said: "I am delighted that this major contract has been won by a local firm. Given the expertise we have in this sector, I am confident that other local businesses will benefit from this significant investment."
Gwynt y Môr
Construction of the €2billion (£1.7 billion) Gwynt y Môr project began in November 2009 when work to prepare land at St Asaph for the construction of a new 132/400kV substation was carried out by North Wales civil engineering company Jones Bros.
A joint venture, comprising RWE Innogy, Munich utility company, Stadtwerke München (SWM) and turbine manufacturer Siemens, was then formed in June to take forward the development of the scheme.
At 576MW, Gwynt y Môr will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in construction, and is being built by RWE npower renewables. Once fully operational, energy generation from Gwynt y Môr is expected to be equivalent to the average annual needs of around 400,000 homes.