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Kier targets civils work and plans to recruit more engineers

Kier chief executive Paul Sheffield this week confirmed plans to grow the firm’s civil engineering
division from a £200M turnover operation to around a £500M business in five years.

Set to ‘boost civils capacity’

He said that despite the tough market across construction, Kier was set to boost its civils capability and recruit civil engineers.

“Our business has been remarkably resilient but the key is being able to adapt to the changing
markets,” he said.

“There is a head of major UK infrastructure projects coming but these are not accessible to everybody − in reality there are six to eight businesses capable of winning the work.”

Sheffield said that growth would come from increased focus on the international market
and predicted that revenues from energy projects look set to grow 10% next year following a flat 2010.

UK civils success

New nuclear and energy from waste schemes are expected to fuel the increase. Kier’s recent UK civils successes include £500M of Crossrail tunnelling and station works contracts in joint venture with Bam Nuttall and Ferrovial.

Although Kier, in joint venture with Bam and URS Scott Wilson, is about to be awarded EdF’s first major civils contract for earthworks at its Hinkley Point new nuclear site, Sheffield warned that the recent problem at the Fukushima plant in Japan could still set back progress in the UK.

“Any delays in the new nuclear programme will inevitably mean that gas will have a bigger part to play,” he said, pointing out that the firm had a strong track record in that market.

“Gas doesn’t really resolve the carbon issue with new generation so is probably an “interim” solution, but is the quickest way to get a significant output delivered.”

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