News in brief

Steel jobs go

Up to 380 jobs are to go in the merger of steel groups ASW and Co-Steel Sheerness. The cuts follow the £40m purchase of Co-Steel in Kent by Cardiff-based ASW. Graham MacKenzie, new ASW chief executive, said the move was one aspect of returning the group to profitability.

Thirsty work

The UK’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant will open in June. Built by Weir Westgarth of Glasgow for Jersey New Waterworks, the £4.5m plant will produce 1.3 million gallons of drinking water a day from the English Channel.

Help for New Deal

Sheffield engineering companies have been asked to help the Government’s New Deal scheme for the unemployed by providing experienced staff to work alongside the Employment Service. Attempts to implement the New Deal in engineering have had only partial success.

Safety first

Twenty eight engineering firms will be honoured for their safety records by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. The top award goes to BAe Airbus in Chester. Kvaerner Energy on Clydebank receives a highly commended award.

Green engineers

The Engineering Council has launched its 1999 Environment Award for Engineers. With a top prize of £5,000, it rewards engineers who help install cleaner technologies and improve firms’ environmental performance. The closing date is 20 May. Details on: 0171 557 6438.

Hypercar vision

Lotus Engineering is to collaborate with Colorado research group the Rocky Mountain Institute and a number of components makers to develop a `hypercar’. Lotus and RMI founder Amory Lovins have expounded similar visions of a light, low-emission car.