August’s top ten engineering industry contract wins

Each month The Engineer picks 10 of the most notable contract news stories from our Business Briefs archive. This month’s selection includes contracts in the power, environmental and transport fields, both in the UK and internationally.

At the beginning of the month, Nuclear Power Delivery (NPD), the delivery organisation for the Westinghouse-designed AP1000 nuclear reactor, announced that it has signed an Early Works Agreement (EWA) with UK energy company Horizon Nuclear Power.

The contract covers preliminary work to be carried out between now and the end of the year as part of preparatory design studies for Horizon’s proposed power station in North Wales.

Also in the energy sector, US technology corporation GE and German wind developer Pro Ventum revealed that they are to build a 90MW wind farm approximately 250km northeast of Bangkok.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed for GE to supply 36 2.5MW wind turbines to the Thep Sathit Wind Farm in the Chaiyaphum province of Thailand.

GE is also looking into a potential equity investment in the project, which is the first between Pro Ventum and GE in Thailand.

Power products provider Alstom reported that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and modernisation of Iraq’s electricity infrastructure.

The agreement, Alstom revealed, covers three major projects – the first of which involves the turnkey supply of a power plant at Bassorah in southern Iraq and covers engineering, procurement and construction.

The power plant will consist of three oil-fired steam units, each with an output of 400MW. The project also includes the supply of 400 and 132kV gas-insulated substations (GIS).

Alstom’s second project concerns the rehabilitation of a gas-fired power plant at Najaf, consisting of three GT13D gas turbines, with an overall output of 180MW.

The third project focuses on the supply and supervision of 400kV GIS substations and 132kV GIS and AIS (air-insulated substations) in various locations in Iraq.

In the coming weeks, Alstom will enter into exclusive discussions with the relevant Iraqi authorities for the practical implementation of these projects.

Also in the energy market, the contract for the first phase of a new multi-million-pound waste-storage facility at the Sellafield nuclear power station was won by a joint venture between engineering support services company Babcock and infrastructure group Balfour Beatty.

The contract for the Early Contractor Engagement Phase of the Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store and Comprehensive Import Export Facility (BEPPS and CIEF) project will start immediately, with completion of the entire project scheduled for 2019.

The project will incorporate the completion and expansion of a purpose-built, above-ground nuclear-waste store and the construction of a new import/export facility to handle radioactive waste, arising from the nuclear decommissioning and high-hazard reduction operations at the Sellafield site in West Cumbria.

Meanwhile, UK-based engineering packages supplier Sheffield Forgemasters was awarded a steel rolls supply contract worth more than £5m for work and back-up rolls with Russian steel company Severstal.

The deal, to provide 186 work rolls and 14 back-up rolls, is said to fulfil the majority of Severstal’s rolls requirements for the whole of 2011.

The rolls will be used in a wide strip cold rolling mill in Cherepovets, northwest Russia, rolling steel sheets for domestic use in car manufacturing, cladding for buildings, food containers and white goods such as fridges and washing machines.

The rolls, which vary in weight from 4.5 to 30 tonnes, will be shipped out to Russia throughout 2011.

In other UK news, UK engineering company Qualter Hall was awarded a £1.9m contract from the Environment Agency, via its National Framework Contractor Birse Civils, for the refurbishment of the Dartford Creek Barrier, which is designed to reduce the flood risk from the Thames Estuary to Crayford and Dartford.

The refurbishment works, due for completion by Qualter Hall in 2010, include the design and supply of hydraulic drive and braking systems, new electrical and control systems, and refurbishment of the hydraulic latch system, including new hydraulic cylinders.

Qualter Hall will also be responsible for the on-site installation, testing and commissioning.

Also in the environmental sector, Lincolnshire-based engineering firm Red Rhino Crushers reported that it has been contracted to supply to supply 24 of its mini crusher machines to CHF, a US-based non-profit aid organisation that is supporting the recovery and rebuild of Haiti following the January earthquake.

Red Rhino’s mini crushers will be used to crush bricks and building materials so that they can be used to rebuild Haiti’s schools, hospitals and homes.

Another environmental win came for TAS Engineering Consultants when it announced that it has entered into a deal with London’s Natural History Museum to help preserve millions of specimens dating back hundreds of years.

TAS has created an automated fluid storage and distribution system, which allows for the topping up of the specimen jars in the museum’s laboratories on each floor of the building.

The solution includes a fully automated control system, which has a touch-screen interface and web-access facility to allow staff to view the system’s status from any location in the museum.

In the UK transport market, infrastructure group Balfour Beatty announced that it has signed a £460m construction contract to deliver the second phase of a satellite building to support Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2, T2B, for airport operator BAA.

The second phase of T2B, for which Balfour Beatty has already provided design services, will deliver a facility with 10 aircraft gates in the area to the east of Terminal 1.

It will incorporate an underground link from the satellite to the main building of the new Terminal 2 development and a large baggage facility in the basement, which will be subject to fit-out in the future.

Construction work is due to begin in October 2010.

Finally, in the same sector, transport infrastructure consortium M-Pact Thales (MPT) was awarded the contract to provide a new Manchester Airport link and extensions through Oldham town centre and into Rochdale town centre, as part of the programme to deliver a tram system around Manchester.

Construction work for this additional £275m extension has already begun, with MPT carrying out all the design, construction and maintenance work for the new lines.

Construction firm Laing O’Rourke and railway infrastructure company Volker Rail will deliver civil and rail infrastructure requirements.

French electronics company Thales will provide all engineering works for the electrical systems, including power and overhead-line equipment, and the tram operating system, under a standalone contract.