Whether the job is raising an entire city or razing a nuclear power plant, you can bet the Bechtel Group will be there to bid on the business. The engineering, construction, and project management company serves the oil and gas, energy, transportation, communications, mining, and government services sectors. It operates worldwide and has participated in such historic projects as the construction of Hoover Dam and the cleanup of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Bechtel's Oil, Gas & Chemical business unit (particularly liquefied natural gas) and its Mining & Metals group are its leading revenue producers. The group is in its fourth generation of Bechtel family leaders with chairman and CEO Riley Bechtel at the helm.
Bechtel has made a name for itself by participating in mega-projects. In addition to providing its core project management and design services, it offers such services as environmental restoration and remediation, telecommunications infrastructure (installing cable-optic networks and constructing data centers), and project financing through Bechtel Enterprises.
Bechtel has completed projects in some 50 countries on all seven continents. Its diverse portfolio of clients and markets served helped the company weather the global economic crisis. The company's revenues did slip slightly in 2009 and 2010 as some projects were scaled back or delayed and clients reduced capital spending. However, Bechtel found plenty of work building rail systems, roads, airports, oil refineries, power plants, mines, liquefied natural gas terminals, and telecom networks, in addition to managing projects for the US government.
The company sees a bright future in the sustainable energy market. Bechtel has partnered with BrightSource Energy to build a 400-megawatt solar power plant in the Mojave Desert (the largest solar thermal facility in the world). Bechtel also is building a clean coal power plant in Indiana and has announced plans to develop an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. While sustainable energy is gaining ground, Bechtel still gets most its work from the oil, gas, and chemicals industry.
In Europe, the group has expanded its rail business by working on High Speed One, the high-speed rail line connecting London with the Channel Tunnel (which Bechtel built); it's the UK's first major new railroad project in a century. It is also managing the upgrade of the UK's West Coast main line and has joined a consortium to renovate part of London's 140-year-old subway. – less