The rapid increase in the worldwide population and the rise of urbanization are driving demand for resilient and reliable infrastructure. The world’s population is projected to increase from some 7 billion today to 9.6 billion by 2050. Meeting this growth requires the equivalent of a new city of 1.5 million people to be built every week for the next 35 years.
At Bechtel, infrastructure is more than just steel, concrete, and asphalt. It is about developing thriving economies, connecting communities, and building for the future.
We design and build vital infrastructure—rail systems, roads, bridges, aviation facilities, power plants, transmission networks, hydroelectric installations, communications networks, water systems, and ports—to improve quality of life and foster sustainable economic growth the world over.
Our Infrastructure business performed well in 2014. We received an extension on a signature master planning and urban development program: the Gabon National Infrastructure project, in Africa.
In Gabon, we helped the government develop a $25 billion national infrastructure master plan and are now supporting the delivery of hundreds of projects such as roads, water, power, schools, hospitals, and housing. Building on our success at Jubail, we are currently helping to define four new economic cities in Saudi Arabia.
A Bechtel joint venture was selected to build a new 37-mile (60-kilometer) motorway linking Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, to Macedonia. This new award comes on the heels of the successful completion of the country’s first motorway, Route 7, which was delivered by our team a year ahead of schedule.
Construction started on the largest new hydroelectric project in Canada. The 695-megawatt Keeyask Generation and Infrastructure project will provide power to Manitoba and the northern United States. It is part of a larger plan to develop hydroelectric power in Canada, and several power stations are in various stages of study and development. Hydropower offers key benefits to the regions it serves: It’s clean, it’s domestic, and it’s renewable. Africa also offers excellent potential for hydroelectric projects.
Bechtel is responding to the worldwide demand for energy by delivering a variety of thermal, renewable energy, and transmission solutions that power the growth of global infrastructure. We are taking advantage of an innovative standard plant and execution model to build four of the cleanest gas-fueled power plants in the United States for Panda Power Funds. These clean gas-fueled plants can achieve full power production within an hour, offsetting the effect of fluctuating electricity output from renewable energy sources. When completed, the four plants will collectively generate enough electricity to power approximately 4 million homes. In Virginia, we were awarded a contract to build a new 778-megawatt natural gas-fueled, combine-cycle power plant that will use reclaimed wastewater to cool the plant, conserving the Commonwealth’s natural supply of drinking water. Further, the facility will be built along existing transmission lines, eliminating the need for additional power lines.
We also completed the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest solar thermal facility. Located in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah was named POWER magazine’s 2014 Plant of the Year. This award is presented to projects that lead the industry in the successful deployment of advanced technology while minimizing environmental impact.
We continue to support the deployment of wireless technology in six major metropolitan markets, providing engineering, procurement, and construction services across 16,000 cellular sites.
2014 Select Accomplishments
- Broke ground on the $10 billion landmark Riyadh Metro project, in Saudi Arabia
- Completed the massive expansion of Reading train station, in London, on schedule and within budget
- Passed the halfway mark on our work on the Crossrail commuter line, a project that includes 26 miles (42 kilometers) of new rail tunnels under London
- Completed the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the United States
- Completed a full passenger opening of Hamad International Airport, in Qatar
- Completed the Eastern Alberta Transmission Line, in Canada—building more than 220 miles (354 kilometers) of transmission line
The future of infrastructure is extremely promising. We expect exponential demand for rail, primarily in the Middle East, where developing public transport networks to connect Gulf Cooperation Countries is a regional priority. In the UK, large-scale investments are being made to improve the existing network to accommodate the projected increase in passenger demand. Growth in Eastern Europe and North America has many municipalities seeking incentive financing for much-needed infrastructure projects: roads, highways, and bridges. Airports worldwide require modernization as facilities age, travel volume increases, and airlines move toward high-frequency, low-cost aircraft.
Access to sustainable and reliable energy will continue to be essential to development and a priority in developed regions. We are taking steps to increase our presence in core regional markets—the Middle East, the Americas, and Europe—and pursuing opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. As part of our strategic focus, we are also:
- Using our master-planning expertise to help governments develop new economic cities and expand and upgrade airports
- Pursuing public-private partnerships, particularly in North America, to meet the needs of governmental organizations interested in attracting private investment to fund infrastructure development
- Adapting our tunneling, large pipeline, and heavy civil capabilities to supply and convey large amounts of water to our industrial, government, and utility customers in response to increased scarcity and higher demands
- Designing and constructing critical infrastructure components, such as roads, ports, and bridges, for major LNG facilities