Jobs-creating boats contact puts Bicester engineers on crest of a wave

A leading engineering company has just agreed a jobs-creating defence contract.

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 22nd June 2020, 4:54 pm
Directors of EP Barrus and MoD officials sign the seven year contract.
Directors of EP Barrus and MoD officials sign the seven year contract.

EP Barrus, of Bicester, has signed a seven year deal with the Ministry of (MoD) to provide engine maintenance support for boats.

It will involve the maintenance of about 1,100 boats under 25 metres in length including Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), the Mexeflote landing-raft system, workboats and planned future craft.

The contract will support 40 jobs in Barrus’s Engineering Centre and secure future roles for engineering students and the company’s graduate engineering intake programme in Oxfordshire.

HMS Magpie - one of the Royal Navy boats cpvered by the maintenance deal.

In addition, about 80 jobs across the UK supply chain will benefit from the contract over the next seven years.

The work will involve the supply, overhaul and repair of all outboard engines and Yanmar inboard diesel engines.

James Melia, Project Manager for the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support Boats Team, said, “Boats are an essential capability of the UK Armed Forces and are used for many different operations around the world ensuring that our Navy has the reach it needs to protect our interests around the globe.

“We are committed to ensuring that engines are effectively managed through every stage of their life cycle and our partnership with EP Barrus will provide critical support to this.

The manufacturing hub at E P Barrus.

Robert Glen, chairman of EP Barrus, said: “The award of this prestigious contract is recognition of Barrus’s reputation as the leading custom- engine builder.

“Our Research & Development Team work closely with the MoD to understand their specific requirements, and, utilising the latest technological advancements deliver engineering solutions that match the demanding operating conditions of their in-service craft.”

The contract will cover operations in the UK and overseas involving the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, Ministry of Defence Police, and Cadets.

Defence Minister, Jeremy Quin, said, “Our maritime industry continues to grow from strength to strength.

“This contract will secure an essential capability for our Armed Forces and support over 40 quality engineering jobs in Bicester, plus many more throughout the UK.”