BABCOCK ENERGY, the Renfrew-based boilermakers, yesterday announced a

#160m power station contract for Iraq which will help guarantee the

company's 2000 jobs until the end of 1991.

The company also hopes to win a #300m order for desulphurisation

equipment for the Drax B power station in Yorkshire. Its final bid was

submitted on Monday and the Central Electricity Generating Board is

expected to make tendering decisions within the next month. If

successful, it could mean up to 300 new jobs for Scotland.

The Iraqi deal, financed by a line of credit negotiated between the UK

and Iraq last year, is for oil and gas-fired boilers and ancillary

equipment for the Al Anbar thermal power station to be built about 100

miles north-west of Baghdad.

The order was under negotiation for six months, and was won against

strong competition from West Germany and Japan. It includes high

pressure steam and distribution pipework, structural steelwork, and


Babcock is to build six boiler units, the first of which is due to be

in operation by early 1992. The rest will come on stream at

three-monthly intervals.

Mr Gordon Law, executive director of Babcock Energy's production

group, said yesterday: ''This is a major achievement at a time when the

world has a surfeit of work-hungry boilermaking companies chasing

all-too-little business. If we cannot create new jobs, we will at least

help safeguard those we already have.

''We think we won the order on a combination of proven reliability and

expertise in the field and the UK Government loan-package to Iraq. It is

the second major overseas order we have netted within the past 12

months. The first was a #60m deal for equipment at a coal-fired power

station at Yue Yang in the People's Republic of China.''

Only 10 to 20 Babcock personnel will travel to Iraq to supervise

construction once the manufacturing phase is under way. It is understood

that thousands of Iraqi soldiers released from military service by the

end of the Gulf War will provide the basic labour force.

Babcock Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FKI Babcock. 10 years

ago, its Renfrew plant employed between 5000 and 6000 people. About 1000

jobs have been lost in the last year.

Apart from power station work, the company has also diversified into

defence contracts, manufacturing launch tubes for Trident and Harpoon

missile systems. This accounts for about 25% of its annual turnover.