News in Brief

Rover chair goes

Rover chairman Walter Hasselkus resigned this week, admitting he had ‘got it wrong’. He will be succeeded by Professor Werner Samann, manager of BMW’s engines and chassis division since 1992. BMW also confirmed that it will invest more than £2bn in Rover if workers accept new working practices. News analysis, page 14

Oil deaths up

Oil exploration and production killed 100 workers in 1997 a 35% increase on the previous year, it was revealed this week. Two died in the UK sector of the North Sea. The E&P Forum, which compiled the figures, said vehicle accidents were the main cause of death.

Role for coal

Clean coal and renewable technologies will play a key role in developing a sustainable UK energy policy in the long term and provide exports and jobs energy minister John Battle said this week at the launch of the 1998 Energy Report.

Largest deal for RJM

RJM Mining has signed a £1.4bn contract with Eastern Group to supply the generator with 50 million tonnes of coal over the next 10 years 28 million tonnes by 2003 and 22 million tonnes between 2004 and 2009. It is the largest deal landed by RJM since it was privatised.

Gas-fired bid

Nuclear generator British Energy is seeking planning consent for a 850MW gas-fired plant at Sleaford, in Lincolnshire. However, a spokesman said the company did not expect the go-ahead for the project until the Government lifts its moratorium on further gas-fired plants.

Subtle changes

Hampson Industries may sell part of its aerospace and precision engineering portfolio to help finance its next acquisition in what chief executive Chris Davies described as a ‘subtle’ refocusing of the group.