Over the course of more than six decades, Bechtel has successfully completed hundreds of major construction projects around the world for the mining sector. Many of the largest natural resource companies rely on our processes, people, and proven performance to deliver their projects in some of the harshest environments on Earth.
Peru is one of the world’s biggest copper producers, and the mining sector is critical to Peru’s long-term economic development. In 2007, Bechtel formed a strategic alliance with Glencore (then Xstrata Copper) to deliver a global portfolio of copper concentrators.
We implemented a standard plant design at two sites, which helped to save time and resources, leverage good practices, and promote consistent implementation of environmental, safety, and health processes, recruitment practices, community engagement, and local enterprise support. We finished the first copper concentrator at Antapaccay, Peru, in 2012. The following year, we drew on this experience to build a second concentrator—and Bechtel’s largest to date—at nearby Las Bambas, now operated by Minmetals. Upon completion, the project will produce 400,000 metric tons of copper per year.
During the Antapaccay project, Bechtel sourced $8.5 million of local goods and services, employed more than 2,200 local people, and certified 400 workers through training programs that enabled them to pursue higher levels of employment. Through our Las Bambas project, Bechtel and our partners have injected nearly $44 million into the local economy through procurement and contracts. We delivered thousands of training hours to indigenous entrepreneurs, helping them meaningfully participate in, and benefit from, the construction phase of the project—and beyond.
Building workers’ skills
The Las Bambas site sits in a remote, mountainous region of Peru where most people rely on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. In 2013, at the peak of the project’s construction, Bechtel hired 1,455 local workers and created an estimated 1,862 indirect jobs for employees of suppliers and others.
Bechtel and its partners are making concerted efforts to elevate the technical skills of local people through various initiatives. For example, in 2013 more than 160 workers completed the formal trade craft and on-the-job training essential to be qualified for higher-level positions, such as surveying, earthworks, and welding.
Partnering with local companies
Since mid-2012, we have purchased more than $1 million per month in local goods and services. Our early work to assess local market conditions enabled us to identify which business sectors would be most viable during and after the construction phase.
This planning allowed us to more effectively target our project spending on hotel, restaurant, transportation, laundry, and food-delivery services. Together with our customer and partners, we followed a rigorous process to engage local suppliers.
In addition, Bechtel provided approximately 5,000 hours of training to more than 600 businesspeople on topics such as customer service; business management; production processes; environmental, safety, and health standards; and tax preparation. We believe that healthy and empowered workers translate to healthy and empowered communities. We conducted 200 workshops to improve community relations and promote respect for others, health and hygiene, and care for the environment. We delivered nearly 22,000 hours of training for more than 7,000 local and nonlocal workers.