NEWS IN BRIEF

Chemical jobs go

British chemicals group Albright & Wilson is set to axe 490 jobs from its British sites as part of a £20m per year cost cutting programme. Its Whitehaven site will shed 240 jobs, 150 will go at its Warley office and 70 at its Oldbury plant. The company, which is subject to a recommended £526m takeover bid from French group ISPG, has seen operating profits fall by two thirds since 1995.

Weighing deal

Railweight has won a £750,000 contract from German rail company Deutsche Bahn to supply 13 Weighline in-motion train weighing systems. The deal follows a previous order from the state-owned rail company for 11 Weighline systems.

BP offloads olefins

BP Amoco is to sell its 20% stake in the Wilton, Teesside, olefins cracker to Huntsman ICI Holdings (HICI) for £83m. HICI was formed in April following ICI’s £1.7bn sale of its petrochemicals businesses to Huntsman of the US. BP Amoco will retain storage rights at the site and enter into a long-term olefins supply deal with HICI.

Meter contract

Cambridge-based communications specialist Plextek has signed a £500,000 development contract with BCN Data Systems to develop automated meter reading technology targeted at the utilities sector. BCN is the only company in the UK to be allocated a frequency at 184MHz for remote meter readings.

£70m jet engine deal

Rolls-Royce has won £71.7m worth of business supplying AE3007 engines for Embraer RJ-145 jets. UK regional operator Brymon Airways, a BA subsidiary, has seven firm orders for the aircraft with options for 14. Delivery of the first aircraft is due in early 2000.