City briefs: Synectics, Sumo, Getech Group and more

Sheffield-headquartered Synectics, which designs, integrates and supports advanced security and surveillance systems, has won a contract with a vehicle manufacturer in Northern Ireland.

The firm has been hired by Wrightbus, a producer of low and zero-emission vehicles, for the provision of a “connected vehicle” solution for Translink – Northern Ireland’s public transport provider, valued initially at approximately £0.8m.

This award is in addition to an initial order placed earlier this year which takes the overall commitment to Synectics this year to over £1m.

Under the contract, Synectics’ will deliver a solution based on the cloud-based software platform it has developed, with a software, support and service contract initially for three years.

The deal also includes the installation and commissioning of the company’s latest T2000 IP-based recording platform and IP cameras on a further 108 new vehicles to be built during 2022.

It is in addition to a contract awarded earlier this year for Synectics to equip 40 vehicles with a similar solution, meaning over 10% of Translink’s fleet of 1,400 vehicles will be connected to Synectics’ Cloud Services in 2022.

This technology provides evidence management, easy management of footage requests, and access to live video – all of which facilitate collaboration with emergency services and insurers.

It also assists in fleet-wide management by providing access to vehicle health data, telematics, historical route analysis, incident creation, and supporting video export.

Paul Webb, chief executive at  Synectics, said: “We are delighted at the progress we have made with fleet operators in Ireland and Northern Ireland over the last few years, especially in their adoption of our latest on-vehicle technologies.

“They have been quick to take advantage of the benefits of our connected vehicle and cloud services solutions, and we expect more franchised operators in mainland UK to follow in due course.”


©Sumo Digital – a still from Sackboy: A Big Adventure

The deal by Chinese multinational technology conglomerate, Tencent to acquire Sumo Group for £919m has taken a step forward following the announcement that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has concluded its investigation into the deal.

The action was in respect to the implementation of certain arrangements designed to mitigate the risks to US national security which the committee had determined could arise following the deal.

This step now means both parties can move forward to complete the acquisition early in 2021



Jonathan Copus

Geoscience business Getech says its wholly owned subsidiary, H2 Green Limited, has signed an agreement with SGN Commercial Services to develop a green hydrogen production, storage and distribution facility on SGN’s former gas holder site in Inverness.

In addition, Leeds-based Getech has agreed with SGN to progress three further UK sites to an advanced stage of evaluation.

The green hydrogen hub in Inverness will have an expected capacity of eight tonnes of hydrogen per day.

Hydrogen presents a natural path for decarbonisation in the Inverness area and the Scottish Highlands.

The site is between the city’s rail depot and industrial area, so will be able to provide green hydrogen directly to large volume anchor customers, including rail, bus and heavy goods vehicles.

Ownership of the site is to be transferred from SGN to an operating company owned by H2 Green and created to progress the Inverness Development Site.

Jonathan Copus, CEO of Getech, said: “I am delighted by today’s news, which will see Getech leading another critical hydrogen hub development, this time with SGN Commercial Services.

“The Inverness green hydrogen hub will be the first of it’s kind in the local area and is ideally positioned to support the use of hydrogen for both rail and road transportation requirements.

“Today’s announcement, in combination with our first hydrogen hub project at the Port of Shoreham, announced in November 2021, adds a second high-quality and strategically important development hub to our portfolio.

“These projects demonstrate the momentum that is building around our hydrogen operations.

“Our data-led approach is cementing H2 Green’s reputation as a fast, insightful, and commercially astute locator and valuer of hydrogen asset opportunities.

“Our focus on the most operationally and economically advantageous locations for our customers, has also led to the agreement to progress evaluation of three further sites across the UK to an advanced stage with SGN, with more potential sites added for review.”


Will Gardiner

Pinnacle Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of Drax has agreed to acquire the pellet sales contract book of Pacific BioEnergy Corporation, adding 2.8Mt of orders for sustainable biomass supply to Japan and Europe.

The contracts are for delivery between 2022 and the mid-2030s and include total revenues over the contract period of around C$675 million.

The deal complements the group’s existing supply contracts to Asian counterparties and European generators, increasing the its long-term third-party sales book by 15%,  with total revenues of over US$4.5 billion.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “This deal supports Drax’s ambition to double our sales of sustainable biomass by 2030 to markets in Asia and Europe where demand for biomass is increasing as countries transition away from coal. It also demonstrates Drax’s commitment to the growth of sustainable biomass in Japan specifically, where we expect to establish a new office in 2022.

“We look forward to working with our partners in Japan and other markets across Asia and Europe as part of our aim to be a global leader in sustainable biomass, making an even greater contribution to the world’s efforts to reach net zero.”

Drax aims to double sales of biomass to third parties to at least 4Mt pa by 2030, developing its market presence in Asia and Europe, facilitated by the creation of new business development teams in Tokyo and London during 2022.