Each month The Engineer picks 10 of the most notable contract news stories from our Business Briefs archive. This month’s selection includes news from the UK’s transport and energy sectors, and contract wins in the international defence and aerospace industries.
Earlier in the month, power and automation technology group ABB won a competitive contract from EDF Energy Infrastructure Services to supply medium-voltage (MV) switchgear panels for a project to upgrade the 11kV power network serving London Underground’s SSR (Sub-Surface Railway) lines.
EDF Energy Infrastructure Services will install the ABB MV switchgear in substations at 13 locations – from Acton Town to Upminster – where it will replace existing equipment that has now reached the end of its service life.
Delivery of the 147 panels will commence in December 2010, with delivery of the final panels scheduled for mid-2012.
In the same sector, Crossrail, the project to build major new railway connections under central London, awarded the Paddington Integrated Project (PIP) preparatory works contract to infrastructure support company Carillion Construction.
The area around Paddington and the Grade-1 listed station will be transformed over the coming years with a new Crossrail station built under Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road.
The PIP facilitates this by providing a step-free entrance to the Hammersmith and City line station on the canal side with access to the new taxi facility, which will be relocated between the mainline station and the canal.
In other UK transport news, Human Recognition Systems (HRS), a provider of biometric and identity-management technology, signed a contract to support Gatwick Airport with a number of technology trials of existing and future airport security operations and operational measurement.
The objective of the trials is to provide the airport with a reasonable level of certainty as to the most effective technology for the purpose of passenger measurement across the Gatwick Airport estate, but initially the Consolidated Security Area in the south terminal.
Meanwhile, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) agreed to support a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Surrey University and Torr Scientific, a manufacturer of X-ray and vacuum components used in XPS systems.
The funding will be used to employ a KTP associate to develop and optimise the use of a novel X-ray monochromator based on Torr Scientific’s diamond anode technology.
The KTP, which aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through better use of the knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base, is funded by the TSB, along with other government research and development agencies.
The total value of the project is £136,000.
In the British defence sector, transport aircraft manufacturer Airbus Military has selected Lufthansa Technik (LHT), a provider of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, to undertake component support for the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) new fleet of 14 A330 MRTT future strategic transport aircraft (FSTA).
The 10-year contract will begin when the FSTA enters service with the RAF towards the end of 2011.
Under the terms of the agreement, LHT will be responsible for establishing the initial component stock at the FSTA main operating base of RAF Brize Norton; the re-provision of components, expendables and standard aircraft hardware; providing access to a component pool; component repair and overhaul services; and the transportation of components
Finally in the UK, green power company E.ON announced that it had finished the construction and connection of its newest wind farm at Haswell Moor, located near Haswell Plough in County Durham.
The wind farm features five 2MW turbines, which stand 110m tall to the tip of the blade, and will produce enough clean energy to meet the electricity needs of around 55,000 homes each year.
An E.ON community fund for the wind farm is being finalised and details will be released shortly.
In international energy news, power systems company Rolls-Royce signed an agreement with Korean diesel engine manufacturer STX Engine, under which STX will become a packager of Rolls-Royce industrial gas turbine generating sets in the Asia Pacific region.
The agreement provides an enhanced route to market for the latest Rolls-Royce industrial gas turbine, the RB211-H63, as well as the Trent 60 gas turbine.
The Engineer also reported that car manufacturers Mitsubishi Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën had signed an agreement to start the technical development of an electric version of Peugeot Partner and Citroën Berlingo LCVs built at the PSA Vigo plant in Spain.
Under this cooperative agreement, both partners will specify all technical and industrial aspects to be able to commence production of these electric versions by the end of 2012.
This signature is a continuation of the previous cooperative agreement on the jointly developed European Peugeot Ion and Citroën C-Zero models based on the i-Miev new-generation electric vehicle.
In European industry news, imaging solutions provider E2V was awarded a contract by the European Space Agency to develop a charge-coupled device (CCD) imaging sensor for the PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) space science mission.
PLATO aims to detect planets from their transits across their host star and to characterise their host stars by studying their oscillations.
In order to achieve this aim, the mission proposes to fly a satellite with a focal plane of up to 34 mini-telescopes, each containing four large-area back-illuminated CCDs to provide ultra-high-precision photometry.
Finally, nuclear submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) was awarded a total of $11.7m (£8.6m) by the US Navy to support submarine maintenance and repair work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington.
At Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, GDEB is supporting repair work in progress on Los Angeles-class submarines USS Oklahoma City, USS Helena and USS San Juan.
The submarines scheduled for repair at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard are USS Seawolf, USS Pennsylvania and USS Michigan.