Parsons cuts add to misery

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TYNESIDE was dealt a further blow yesterday when it was announced that Parsons Power Generation Systems, part of the Rolls-Royce group, is to shed 400 jobs over the next few months because of a shortage of work, writes Mary Fagan.

At the same time, GEC's Yarrow shipyard on Clydeside said that 93 technical staff had become surplus and might be made redundant unless they filled other vacancies.

Parsons said that most of its redundancies would be at the company's factory at Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, but 40 jobs would be shed in service operations elsewhere in the UK.

Trevor Murch, Parsons' managing director, said that manfacturing work on existing export contracts was nearly complete and there were no firm replacement orders.

The company was experiencing delays in arranging financing for three large projects in India, he said, adding: 'We are actively seeking orders in other parts of the world, but competition is extremely tough.'

Parsons is bidding in Malaysia for a pounds 100m power station contract at Port Kelang near Kuala Lumpur. Talks have been proceeding despite the ban - lifted earlier this week - on British companies participating in government work. The Malaysian government has a stake in Tenaga, the company awarding the power station contract.