Leicester Mercury Newspaper Article

EPS featured in the Leicester Mercury Newspaper on 16th January 2015

A county engineering firm has a struck a multi-million pound deal to help electrify the UK rail network.

EPS hopes to take on another 25 staff to fulfil the deal which could be worth more than £15 million to it over five years.

The Loughborough business is part of a consortium called SSA (Switchgear Substation Alliance) which has won a Network Rail contract worth up to £50 million.

EPS will design, test and manufacture trackside substations for routes up and down the country. Each high voltage substation will be 20-50 yards long and supply power to around 10 miles of track.

The deal was signed last Friday.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin will accompany Education Secretary and Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan in a visit of the company's Swingbridge Road factory today, to mark the news of the contract.

Network Rail plans to spend £38 billion upgrading the UK's railways over the next five years.

EPS managing director Brian McKean said the company had 11 staff which could grow by another 20 to 25.

The consortium is also tendering for contracts to work on HS2 in the UK, new rail lines in the Middle East and a planned 200mph California High-Speed Rail connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mr McKean said: "Nationally Network Rail are doubling the number of electric lines and SSA has won the contract for up to £50 million of work, with us providing the complete substations and making them in Loughborough.

"Work on the design phase should start in earnest this summer. It's hard to say how many lines we will be involved in because all are going through approval, but we will have 30 to 40 complete substations to supply."

Electrification projects the consortium could work on include lines from Manchester to Blackpool and Walsall to Rugeley.

The other partners in the project are Giffen Group, in St Albans, and Electren UK, in London.

EPS was founded by Mr McKean's father, also called Brian, in 1985. Mr McKean senior was a former chief engineer at Loughborough's Brush and managing director of GEC.

EPS turns over about £1.5 million a year, which could rise to £5 million to £7 million as the contracts come in – assuming the programme is delivered ahead of schedule.

Mr McKean said: "This is a really huge step for us. Traditionally we would have designed the equipment and sold the designs on, so it's a big story for us to be building it ourselves.

"This is recognition that Britain continues to have the technical capabilities to deliver these sorts of infrastructure projects."

Saleem Mohammad, Network Rail director for the National Electrification Programme, said: "Our work to electrify 2,000 track miles represents the biggest programme of rail electrification in a generation and will support economic growth across the UK.

"This programme will also lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and a sustainable world class transport system providing faster, quieter and more reliable journeys for millions of our passengers.

"This framework contract with SSA UK will play a critical role in achieving these goals.

"It gives the company certainty about its pipeline of work, which means that they can target investment, maximise their innovation and safety, and be able to put the right resources and skills in place."

Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/track-deliver-deal-worth-millions/story-25864433-detail/story.html#ixzz3Ozf9ioFr 

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