Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Thurso-based battery firm wins Army contract

British soldiers
The portable charger can be carried by soldiers on operations

A battery manufacturer has secured a £4.6m contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply lightweight portable power chargers for soldiers.

Thurso-based ABSL Power Solutions already makes batteries for helmet-mounted devices, military radios and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has awarded the firm an £87,000 grant to help expand its business.

The charger can be carried by troops in the field to power equipment.

Roland Talbot, ABSL's business development director, said the company was committed to being based in Caithness.

He added: "We design, develop and manufacture the world's most advanced portable power systems for use in challenging situations where performance and reliability are crucial."

General manager Mike Halliday said the company had previously supplied the military with large batteries, but the new order was for a smaller charger able to "scavenge power from various sources".

He described as an "urgent operational order" from the MoD which has to be completed by September.

Annemarie Monteforte, of HIE, said the public agency has had an ongoing relationship with ABSL for a number of years.

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