December 2019

Jones Bros Leading the Way HEATHER WILLIAMS asks what do we know about a successful local business whose vehicles we regularly see on the roads in North Wales In September, we had an interesting visit to the Clocaenog area, where Jones Bros was at the final stages of completing the installation of turbines for the new wind farm. Founded in the 1950s by brothers Glyn and Elwyn Jones, Jones Bros is unique in having the in- house expertise to take on some of the UK’s biggest civil engineering projects, while maintaining the flexibility and personable approach of a family business. Operating from its head office at Tŷ Glyn, the former ADAS and Denbighshire building off Park Road, Jones Bros now also has regional offices in Swansea, Oxford, Inverness and Edinburgh. The key areas in which the company specialises are renewables and energy, construction of waste management facilities and landfill engineering, flood and coastal protection, marine infrastructure, quarrying and aggregate production, highways and surfacing, and also infrastructure and plant hire. Typically, Jones Bros works on joint ventures with other companies to undertake more complex contracts—particularly in relation to wind farms and highway construction projects. Renewables and Energy In the 1970s, having established techniques for constructing forestry access tracks, Jones Bros was in an ideal position to help with the challenging development of wind farms which involved the construction of access roads to accommodate abnormal loads, turbine foundations, substations and electrical infrastructure for on-shore wind farms. Its largest contract to date involved 76 turbines at Pen y Cymoedd in South Wales, as well as others in the UK, and in particular in Scotland. The Jones Bros website (jones-bros.com) provides details of the location of these sites and the dates when the sites were developed, as well as contract values. The company also provides infrastructure and ground preparation for solar farms. Construction of waste management facilities and landfill engineering From being a leading contractor for the construction of landfill sites, Jones Bros has become a specialist in the construction of waste management facilities and waste recycling plants. A local example of this is in Wrexham, where Jones Bros has developed plant extracts recyclable material from domestic refuse and transforms the residue into fuel for multi-fuel power generation facilities. Flood/coastal protection and marina infrastructure Jones Bros has tackled projects along the Welsh coast, to improve the coastal protection, some of which have involved shoring up the sea defences with rocks, such as the Tywyn coastal defence scheme. Other projects have included the Deganwy marina construction, Llanddulas jetty demolition and the Terminal 3 development at Holyhead. Quarrying and aggregate production Jones Bros extracts and processes aggregates on site, reducing the need to import materials required for highway and infrastructure work. It has one of the largest heavy plant fleets companies in the UK. Highways and surfacing The company has worked on many major road contracts which have included construction of by- passes, which have included the A5 Tŷ Nant to Dinmael rock cutting remedial work, the A487 Porthmadog by-pass, and they are currently working on the construction of the Caernarfon to Bontnewydd by-pass. North Wales Hospital In partnership with the North Wales Building Preservation Trust, Jones Bros is the preferred developer for the North Wales Hospital site, in Denbigh. Training & career development Finally, the company offers supportive training and career development opportunities. Rhys Roberts, the Site Agent who gave a presentation to members of RADCA at the Clocaenog Forest wind farm site is an excellent example. He joined Jones Bros in 2007 having been offered an apprenticeship after doing work experience with the company while completing his A levels. After graduating from the Civil Egineering Training Scheme, he has built up significant experience while working on a number of renewable energy projects. In 2015 Rhys completed his registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) with the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE). He said “Jones Bros has given me plenty of opportunities to build up my skills and experience. I am responsible for a number of duties on site, including the design and assessment of site tracks and helping with controlling plant across site. “I really enjoy my job, and love putting site plans into place so that you can see visible progress on the project as the weeks pass by.” So, in conclusion, it has to be said that we are most fortunate to have this forward-looking company based here, which certainly is providing a sustainable future in the civil engineering field.
Archive from 2013 Historic Interest
Rhys Roberts
The Clocaenog Windfarm… Covers 4,000 hectares Originally was planned for 32 turbines but this was reduced to 27 Project has taken 10 years with planning permission granted in 2014 Construction work on site started in March 2018 Was originally due to complete on 5/9/19 but is now 2/12/19. Too much wind was main problem in meeting the original date! Project involved developing site compound, construction of 5 miles of roads, blasting stone from local quarry, construction of concrete plant used for turbine foundations (72ft wide x 11½ ft deep) and electricity substation Steel for cables is from Ireland Turbines are from Denmark and transported by sea to Ellesmere Port thence by road Blades are 167ft in length Is shut down if wind speed is more than 55mph! Electricity substation on site links to Scottish Power then National Grid at St Asaph employed 1,200 people overall —75% of them being local