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BB&V to boost UK staff by 50%

WATER SPECIALIST Binnie Black & Veatch is set to boost UK staff numbers by 50%, chief executive Lawrence Hughes revealed this week.

Despite forecasts that the industry is slowing down, Hughes claimed BB&V aimed to increase its UK staff from 400 to 600 by breaking into the European power, process and telecommunications markets.

'I think we could do that over the next two years without acquisition,' he said. 'If we move in on the power services market I could probably add 50 staff today because the demand is out there.'

Power, process and telecommunications are key components of BB&V's US parent Black & Veatch, with which it merged four years ago. Hughes said the growth was driven by B&V's desire to do more European business from the UK, rather than from other European offices or its Kansas headquarters.

'We have all the systems and all the information from B&V on how to run power services businesses and also have some managers over here from the States. We could put new teams together very rapidly,' he claimed.

The company is already engaged in telecommunications work in Poland and 'chasing several big power services projects'. But Hughes stressed that BB&V was not moving away from its traditional strength in water engineering.

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