News in brief

Blast fines

Enron was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay more than £2,300 costs by Teesside magistrates after pleading guilty to charges arising from a 1996 explosion at its Teesside power station in which a worker was seriously burned. Westinghouse, which initially pleaded not guilty but later changed its plea, was fined £15,000 with costs of over £3,000.

Bigger Boal

Dutch-based Boal International is investing £7m in a second production line which will double capacity at its Leicestershire aluminium extrusion plant. Up to 40 jobs will be created.

Pay pressure

Engineering pay settlements fell to 3.6% for the three months to the end of May, down from 3.7% for the previous three months. The fall reflects the continuing pressure of the strong pound on the industry, said the Engineering Employers’ Federation.

Kvaerner contract

Kvaerner Oil & Gas has won a contract worth £83m to provide operations support for Elf’s Elgin and Franklin fields in the North Sea for seven years. Kvaerner said the contract would create about 120 long-term jobs onshore and offshore.

Shell closure talks

Shell has begun consulting staff on a proposal to close its Shell Haven refinery in Essex. If the moves goes ahead, the facility, which employs 290, would probably shut at the end of 1999.

New Sermatech plant

A £5m engineering facility has been opened in Lincoln by US-owned Sermatech UK, supplier of protective coatings and repairer of industrial turbo machinery.

Payments to miners

The Government has offered interim compen-sation of £2,000 to a further 13,000 former coal miners suffering from respiratory disease, industry minister John Battle has announced.