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EA Engineering wins contract worth up to $75 million from Corps


EA Engineering, Science and Technology Inc., a Hunt Valley-based environmental services company, said yesterday that it won a five-year contract worth as much as $75 million from the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The average payout of $15 million a year will be the largest contract in the company's 20-year history.

"This is a very important milestone," said EA President Edward V. Lower. Because of the contract, the company will hire 50 people over the next year, he said. About 25 of those new employees will work in the Baltimore area, where 300 of the company's 600 workers are located.

The company's stock rose 75 cents a share yesterday, closing at $6.25.

The award, which was granted Tuesday, gives EA the right to negotiate an exclusive contract with the Corps of Engineers to provide engineering services and oversee the cleanup of hazardous materials at closed military bases. The value of the contract could be as much as $75 million, Mr. Lower said.

The award came four months after EA received a similar 10-year, $100 million contract to provide services for the cleanup of closed Navy installations. While the Navy contract was larger, its average annual payout of $10 million was smaller than the $15 million from the Corps of Engineers work.

The company, which will observe its 20th anniversary in late September, recorded profits during its most recent two fiscal quarters after losing money the previous two years.

For the six months that ended Feb. 28, the company earned $328,000, or 13 cents a share, on revenues of $24 million. It is also expected to be profitable in the third fiscal quarter.

Subcontractors to EA in the project include KCI Technologies Inc. of Towson and ABB Environmental Services of Portland, Maine.

Paul E. Couture, senior vice president for KCI, said the engineering company might add five to 10 workers to its 500-person work force because of the subcontract.

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