Anglian Water is recruiting engineers to help fuel a rapid expansion plan for its global infrastructure business.
The group is hoping to become world leader in the management of infrastructure projects by 2007, working in water, rail and transport industries.
Anglian, which has a turnover of around £850m in the UK, is expanding its engineering base to work on the development of waste water schemes, said Mike Martin, director of the company’s technology division. ‘We are planning to recruit in a number of areas, including process engineering, to help us meet our project commitments. We are looking for mechanical and electrical engineers as well as project managers, who can find 21st century, cost-effective solutions.’
The waste water industry often requires the use of advanced technology to overcome both environmental problems and space limitations, said Martin. ‘A number of treatment works are already established, restricting our ability to expand, so we have to apply very advanced technology to overcome some of those problems.’
With more treatment works being built, and the amount of sludge being produced increasing, disposing of it has also become a problem, he said. ‘Agriculture was the traditional route, but that is becoming increasingly difficult, so we are having to look at new technologies.’
Among these solutions, the company is working on ‘gasifying the waste sludge’ as a source of renewable energy.
Unlike some water companies, which have disposed of their engineering teams and now form joint ventures with consultancy firms or buy in the particular skills they need, Anglian has kept its skills in-house, said Martin. ‘By tradition we have a very strong engineering team. we believe it is very important for us to retain that knowledge and understanding in-house.’
As well as its UK business, AWG also operates in the rest of Europe, South America and the Far East. The company has been particularly successful in China, said Martin, building around 30 waste water treatment plants over the past five years, and was recently chosen as preferred bidder to develop the Beijing Water Works, which will service the 2004 Olympic Games.