Hours before trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt held a summit to promote energy efficiency, a Daily Mirror photographer snapped the DTI building awash with light.

On Monday, Hewitt and energy minister Mike O’Brien said £1bn in fuel could be saved each year with improvements in efficiency. During the summit, which launched an Energy Smart public-awareness campaign, the pair encouraged consumers to look around for the cheapest energy suppliers and to consider home insulation as a way to save valuable pounds.

Yet the photograph here, taken at 10pm on Sunday night, shows a huge waste of energy and taxpayers’ money. The lights are, apparently, always on in the central-London building.

A DTI spokesman said the lighting system was being modernised.

Scottish M&E contractor Hydro Contracting has been awarded a turnkey contract by luxury ice-cream manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland to install a 650kW wind turbine at a factory on its dairy farm in Inverurie, near Aberdeen. Hydro Contracting has been appointed as the principal contractor for the project, which involves all the design work associated with the turbine, installation of 11kV switchgear and reconfiguration of the existing electrical distribution system.

As part of the contract, the company will also fit 11kV control cables connected to a computer terminal in the factory to allow the owners to dial up and check the level of energy generated by the turbine. The civil works for the project include modifications to access tracks on-site, installation of the turbine foundations and some off-site roadworks to make transportation of the 44m-high turbine easier.

“Managing the environment is an important objective of the farm,” explained Karin Hayhow, marketing director of Mackie’s. “Once the turbine is up and running, we expect to be able to power the whole ice-cream production process using renewable energy.”

The National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) will start training and rehabilitating around 40 Iraqi electrical engineers in a few days at a cost of $220,000. The company will cover 15% of the cost and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will finance the balance, indicated NEPCO director general Ahmad Hiyasat.

The trainees will come in three groups, each spending a few weeks in the kingdom, he said. Following the US-led war on Iraq, NEPCO, in collaboration with various international institutions, has trained around 80 Iraqi officials in the energy sector. ABB was one of the international electricity firms participating in the training.

“All these efforts are meant to train Iraqi engineers on the latest electric control and operation methods as well as to help them rebuild the power infrastructure and networks that were destroyed after the war,” said the official.

Company officials expect they will be able to train around 200 Iraqi officials by the end of 2004 and early 2005.



Since the early 1990s, NEPCO, which has a capital of JD230m, has provided training and consultancy services to many Arab countries including Iraq, which has recently been connected to an electric interconnectivity project linking Jordan with Egypt. The project is scheduled to extend in the future to include Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

When connected, Iraq will obtain part of its daily power need estimated at around 18,000MW.

Central Electric Generating Company director general Abdul Fattah Ensour told The Jordan Times that his company will also participate in rehabilitating Iraqi energy personnel by familiarising them with Jordan's electricity generation methods and organising field visits to the kingdom's major power plants.

The electrical industry’s annual powerBall was held last week in the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, with attendees contributing to a fund of £260,000 for members of the electrical or electronic industries who are going through difficult times.

After addresses by powerBall chairman Roger Taylor and Electrical and Electronics Industries Benevolent Association president David Dennison, over 1,100 people were seated for dinner, which was followed by an auction, with a car on offer; cabaret; an acrobatic display; a salsa demonstration from the World Salsa Champions; and a show band.

This was the prime fundraising event in the EEIBA’s calendar and provided a springboard to the association’s centenary. The EEIBA is asking for donations to help elderly people who have worked in the electrical or electronic industry all their working lives, who are finding it increasingly difficult to cope.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact Timothy Lambert on 020 8673 9829.

Four women are competing for the celebrated Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award 2004. These are: Jeannie Rees, Ofcom, Glasgow; Faye Banks, Unilever, Leeds; Katy Linforth, Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Huddersfield; and Claire Woolaghan, British Nuclear Group, Cumbria.

Sponsored by The Institution of Incorporated Engineers, The Caroline Haslett Memorial Trust and supported by BT and Ford Motor Company, the award will be presented to the winner by Baroness Hogg on 18 November 2004 at the BT Centre, London.

The winner of the main award will receive a cheque for £1,000, donated by BT; a silver rose bowl; and a certificate. The runner-up will also receive a certificate and The WES (Women’s Engineering Society) prize of £500. The winner of the Mary George Memorial Prize (offered to a younger entrant who, while academically eligible, has yet to gain the experience and responsibility required for the main award) will receive a cheque for £500, a silver salver and a certificate.

Further to these awards, the Ford Women Into Science and Engineering prizes will also be presented. These WISE prizes recognise the outstanding achievements and commitment of women engineering students in UK universities who are in their penultimate year of study.

The sponsors, Ford Motor Company and WISE, wish to attract more young women to study and commit to engineering as a career path. The winners have been chosen with the support of The Institution of Electrical Engineers, The Institution of Incorporated Engineers and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Akanksha Awal, currently studying Electronics and Communications Engineering at London Metropolitan University, is the winner of the IEng Ford WISE Prize 2004.

The winner of the CEng Ford WISE Prize 2004 is Helen Walkden, who is studying Systems Engineering at Loughborough University. Both winners will each receive a cheque for £750, donated by Ford Motor Company.

General Electric plans to enter the bidding war for Novar, to ward off a hostile offer from Melrose. Other groups believed to be mulling over entering the fray are Honeywell and Schneider, the electrical equipment makers, and Siemens, the German industrial conglomerate.

Melrose made a £625m bid that has been dismissed by the incumbent board as inadequate - alerting General Electric and others to the possibility of making a “white knight” counter offer.

Executives close to the company say the bidders are most interested in Novar’s building controls subsidiary, Intelligent Building Systems, which has a turnover of more than £600m.

Beama, the British electrotechnical manufacturing association, has condemned government proposals to reduce financial support for major export schemes. Association director Jan Fillingham, who heads its exhibitions and overseas missions team, says: “It is extremely disappointing for a sector such as ours to be informed that Government is reducing much of its financial support for major export schemes.

“Beama, like other trade associations, provides successful support schemes and services to firms at little, or no, cost to government. Annually, they take over 9,000 companies abroad to 450 shows/missions – government plans will see these services scrapped. The immediate impact will be to restrict companies’ overseas marketing activities – in particular smaller businesses.

“We understand the need to reduce Civil Service overheads, but curtailment of the Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad scheme and channeling grants through the regions will not achieve this.”

Jan Fillingham continues: “We consider the RDAs (regional development agencies) as lead organisationswill have no national benefit. It could create a ‘divide to fail’ scenario. RDAs will have a self-interest. Thus, their liaison with, and support of, sector-focused national organisations such as Beama will be disregarded.”

The government department responsible for the shift in policy, UK Trade & Investment, says it has a responsibility to help all companies and organisations in the UK seeking advice or support.

Small and medium-sized enterprises will now be the principal beneficiaries of its financial support, with an improvement in funding to the middle market. This follows an RDA pilot scheme in the West Midlands.

An additional £4m put into the scheme in 2004/5, representing a 27% increase, will strengthen the regional trade operation. By 2005/6 this will see some 2,250 new exporters assisted and 4,000 established exporters directed into new export markets.

Marconi, the telecoms giant, has plans to begin re-investing in research and development after finally clearing its debt, reports The Scotman.

The group said toughening market conditions would force a £10m-a-year cash injection, despite an earlier pledge to keep operating costs to a minimum.

The cash will be used to boost sales and marketing, with a focus on customer trials of its next-generation product. Marconi’s key business is now in upgrading telecoms networks and installing broadband.

Competition in the sector has lead to a squeezing of the group’s already slim margins, but chief executive Mike Parton said the firm would continue to lift pre-tax profits - which jumped in the second-quarter from £5m to £47m.

Marconi’s biggest customer is BT, which contributes 32% of total sales. This is mainly due to the former monopoly’s aggressive plan to upgrade all its networks by 2008.

The upgrades - known as 'soft-switching' - involve a move from hardware to software systems. For the consumer, this allows phone and internet services to become more portable - a fusion of the home and the office.

Marconi is still recovering after its near collapse in 2001, when the telecoms crash sent it close to oblivion. It reinvented itself last year, although a complex debt-for-equity swap left shareholders almost penniless.

ABB has won a turnkey contract worth $15m to install Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) technology in France.

The contract, awarded by RTE, the French Transmission System Operator, is hoped to improve the efficiency of the transmission system and increase grid reliability in north-western France, ensuring voltage stability in the region.

The order includes ABB’s Static Var Compensator (SVC) technology - part of the FACTS portfolio - which helps to stabilise power grids. Under the latest contract in France, two SVCs will be located in Brittany close to the cities of Saint Brieu and Lorient. The project is scheduled for completion in 2005.

A proposed photovoltaic plant in Bavaria will convert sunlight in to 10MW of electricity with silicon panels.

Siemens has received an order worth

Norfolk County Council has axed engineering and construction group Jarvis from a £92m schools contract because it failed to secure the services of local contractors. Jarvis had won the Private Finance Initiative contract to improve buildings at 37 schools.

Shares in the company lost more than half their value when the firm also announced it had plunged deeper into financial crisis announcing losses for the year to March were £255m. The share price sank 53% to 15.5p.

Earlier this year, Jarvis’s bankers decided not to pull the plug on the firm after chairman Steven Norris convinced them that he had a plan to turn the group around.

In August, the firm was axed from a £174m schools building contract in Fife.

In July the company was fined £400,000 following an investigation by the HSE into a rail accident where a locomotive and wagons of a goods train derailed on a section of line maintained by the firm.

Eight new wind turbines in Lincolnshire have begun turning, generating enough ‘clean’ electricity to power over 4,000 homes.

The wind park at Mablethorpe, on the east coast, has been developed by Ecotricity, which also built Lincolnshire’s first two wind turbines at this site in 2002.

The project is hoped to help Co-operative Bank and CIS (CFS) save money. Electricity from six of the wind turbines is allocated to supply their offices throughout the UK, saving them around £250,000 over the lifetime of the contract in an ‘off-site’ Merchant Wind Power deal with Ecotricity. The rest of the ‘clean’ electricity will be provided to Ecotricity’s domestic customers at the same price as conventional electricity.

Paul Monaghan, head of sustainability at CFS, said: “We already source virtually all of our electricity from renewable sources, but this deal will ensure that we are supporting the creation of new generation capacity in the UK and saving money. Business should stop bleating about the price of green electricity and commit to long-term purchase arrangements such as this.”

The project has become something of a tourist attraction and, at the request of East Lindsey District Council, Ecotricity has provided onsite visitor parking and information about the construction and generation capabilities of the wind turbines.