News in brief

Philips shuts shop

Dutch electronics firm Philips is closing its Hastings manufacturing and design business with the loss of 160 jobs. The East Sussex factory has been making kettles for 26 years. Design operations will be transferred to Holland.

Microwave MSc

Leeds microwave engineering firm Filtronic has set up an MSc course for 22 of its employees in conjunction with Leeds University. The course aims to boost skills of its graduate employees. See Appointments, p31

Dennis decides

The board of specialist vehicle maker Dennis has backed the £268.9m takeover bid from Mayflower, having ditched support last week for a lower offer from Henlys. The DTI said the bids will not be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Pool rebuff

Large industrial users of electricity have had the call for a temporary cap on pool prices rebuffed by industry regulator Professor Stephen Littlechild. ‘He thinks it might stifle the divestment of National Power and PowerGen plants,’ said one industry source.

Power purchase

ABB has won the first, £6m, contract for its Powerformer, which generates high-voltage electricity that can be fed into a transmission network without the need for a step-up transformer or switchgear (The Engineer, 5 March). A Swedish utility has ordered the unit for a combined heat and power plant.

Risk money

The Centre for Marine and Petroleum Technology has awarded 10 research grants totalling £400,000 to seven universities and three companies for high-risk offshore projects.

Plastic openings

Polynorm Plastics UK has opened a compression moulding factory at St Helens, creating 200 jobs.