News in brief

Refinery upgrade

Amec Process and Energy is to upgrade the Lindsey oil refinery at Killinghome to meet the EU AutoOil 2000 fuel standards. The refinery, the third biggest in the UK, is jointly owned by Total and Petrofina. Work is scheduled for completion in September.

Swale sale

Chemicals group Brent International has sold its Salford-based Swale Process coatings and inks business to Japan-based Sun for £8.4m. Following the sale, Brent hopes to bring talks on possible takeover bids for the entire group to `a swift conclusion’.

Locomotive order

Chiltern Railways has ordered five Clubman 168 train sets from Adtranz in Derby. The £10m order consists of 10 locomotive units capable of running as individual two-coach trains, or being added to existing trains. The trains will serve on the Birmingham Snow Hill to London Marylebone route from September 2000.

Mossend sale

Lite-On, the Taiwanese computer company which closed in February, has sold its Mossend factory in Lanarkshire to a consortium of private investors for an undisclosed sum. The investors are looking for a new owner for the site, which is being marketed primarily in the US.

Vroom vroom

Siemens Automotive Systems has opened a £1m European research and development centre in Telford to enable car makers to develop engine noises that appeal to their customers. Research shows the sound of a car is as important as its looks to drivers.

Drilling deal

Shell UK Exploration has awarded a £200m, five-year drilling contract to KCA Drilling for nine North Sea platforms in the East Shetland Basin, including the four Brent field platforms.