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Motherwell Bridge wins £9m nuclear decommissioning & maintenance contracts

Leading UK engineering group Motherwell Bridge has secured two major nuclear decommissioning and maintenance contracts valued at more than £9 million.

The contracts success is a significant boost for its new Motherwell Bridge Nuclear division, which has secured £15 million in total of new business in its first year of operation.

It also underlines Motherwell Bridge’s drive to develop its engineering maintenance services activities and expand into higher added value sectors such as aerospace, nuclear plant maintenance and decommissioning and railtrack maintenance.

Motherwell Bridge Nuclear has been awarded a £4.5 million contract at British Nuclear Fuel Limited’s Trawsfynydd Power Station in Wales as part of a three-year decommissioning project led by Amey Construction. The project involves the partial dismantling of the boilers at the power station.

The division is also about to begin the second phase of an extensive maintenance programme at both the Hunterston ‘B’ and Hinkley ‘B’ nuclear power stations in a contract from British Energy valued at £5 million.

The maintenance programme over the coming year will include inspection of boiler areas, statutory inspections and the repair and / or replacement of various boiler components and will involve more than 150 Motherwell Bridge personnel on a 24-hour shift basis.

In conjunction with British Energy, Motherwell Bridge has also constructed a state-of-art training facility at its Sunderland base, which includes a full size mock-up of an Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor and 15,000 sq. ft of rigs and development cells.

Commenting on the contracts success, Motherwell Bridge Group chief executive John Lumsden said: “ We have made major investment over the last two years to refocus our business and concentrate on a number of key areas and the nuclear sector is one of our prime targets."

“In little over a year we have been able to make a substantial impact in nuclear decommissioning and maintenance thanks to a combination of advanced engineering skills and entrepreneurial drive.”

Alan Murphy, managing director of Motherwell Bridge’s Mechanical Construction division which has overall responsibility for the nuclear operation, said: “ Working in the nuclear sector demands the highest standards of engineering and safety. We have put together a team which has vast experience of the nuclear industry and established a significant presence in this sector. I believe we are now well positioned for further expansion in the nuclear industry over the next 18 months.”

Over the last few years Motherwell Bridge has fundamentally reshaped its engineering businesses. It has substantially reduced capacity in its operations which are subject to cyclical demand in supplying capital plant and equipment to the process plant industries.

At the same time it has expanded its engineering maintenance services activities and increased its exposure both by acquisition and organically to higher added value sectors such as aerospace, nuclear plant maintenance and decommissioning and railtrack maintenance. These activities provide the opportunity for future sustainable growth in earnings.

Last month Motherwell Bridge announced the £75m. sale of its Information Systems division in an institutional buy-out led by Europe’s leading venture capital company 3i. The sale represents a massive return on investment for Motherwell Bridge which acquired the origins of the Information Systems division only six years ago for £400,000 and has invested £9m. in developing the operation worldwide.

The transaction has strengthened Motherwell Bridge’s balance sheet and will release funds to create a strong platform for growth in its target sectors.

Motherwell Bridge employs more than 3,500 people world-wide with a turnover of £200m. in its engineering businesses. The Group has worldwide expertise in engineering and engineering services and is known worldwide for its services to clients in a wide range of fields, including energy, aerospace, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, steel and transportation.