A Gainsborough company has won nearly £4 million worth of business, which places it at the heart of a drive by the city of Paris to create the cleanest urban air in Europe.
Eminox Ltd has beaten off stiff international competition to land a prestige order from RATP* - the city's transport authority - to fit specially developed diesel exhaust systems to 1,400 Paris buses. The company is recruiting 14 new staff in Gainsborough to help with the manufacturing requirement.
The systems remove over 90% of key diesel pollutants - particulate matter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide - and their installation over the next 12 months means that Parisians will breathe cleaner air.
Managers at the company learned just before Christmas that they had won the business, and announced it today (January 7).
Eminox will establish a small French office to support the business and to win new orders.
The company will also "trial" the next generation of systems in Paris, with the support of RATP, and managers say that the high profile business win will almost certainly lead to other major business in Continental Europe.
Eminox equipment is also widely used by Transport for London, meaning that the company now has two of Europe's largest capital cities on its customer list.
Following the Paris decision, French Ministers are considering committing an extra nine million Euros to allow other conurbations to follow suit - and if the money materialises, the Eminox team say they will try to bid for a large percentage of that work, too.
To win the business, the company took part in a tightly-fought contest involving leading European competitors - but the decision makers in Paris are experts, and the final decision was not just about cost.
"We had to win what came down to a very detailed technical argument about the capability of our systems, and we were dealing with extremely well-informed people who know their business and understand the science of emissions," said Mr Paul Priestley, Eminox General Manager.
"The mission they have set themselves is to create the cleanest city air in Europe, and they were interested in the most effective equipment for the job, not necessarily the cheapest. It is a major endorsement for our technology."
The project is also likely to be highly visible to UK local
authorities - they are supposed to be meeting Government-set air
quality targets, but a review due in April this year is predicted - by
their own admission - to show that 95% will
fail to meet the targets.
Tough new European legislation is also on the way, meaning that trucks and buses will have to meet specified emissions levels - fitting equipment such as that manufactured by Eminox would allow them to do so.
*Regie Autonome Des Transports Parisiens.