Bechtel Announces New Technology And Consulting Company

January 12, 2000 Bechtel today announced the formation of an independent energy technology and consulting company, Nexant LLC. The new company will focus on the energy business, from strategy to operations, and will draw on Bechtel's established engineering and project management expertise.
"This initiative represents an exciting opportunity," says Adrian Zaccaria, Bechtel's president and chief operating officer. "The energy consulting business has grown significantly in recent years, and the creation of an independent company to capitalize on the market for such services represents an important strategic move."

The demand for energy consulting services is expected to grow 20 percent annually over the next three years to a record high of $30 billion by the year 2002. Nexant's unique experience in the energy field positions the company as a major force in the industry.

"By building on Bechtel's global reputation and resources, as well as its in-house experience and technical expertise, Nexant is well positioned to meet the demand for management and technology services," says Basem Y. Sarandah, president of Nexant and former principal vice president of Bechtel National, Inc.

The unprecedented changes within the energy sector, both domestically and globally, are driving the demand for consulting services. The advent of energy utilities deregulation, product commoditization, stricter environmental regulations, and advances in information technology is changing the way the energy sector conducts business and the end-user is acquiring supply.

Nexant will deliver targeted services in the areas of strategy formation and restructuring, and information and energy technology. Its services will be grouped into six practice areas:
  • Energy Utility Services—Strategy, economic, and regulatory reform services for U.S. utilities; restructuring, privatization, and performance improvement services for international utilities and energy companies; and competitive market systems advisory services, including energy trading, ISO implementation, risk management, bidding strategies, and power system operations 
  • Oil and Gas Services—Industry-informed strategy and transactions consulting for government and commercial clients, technical outsourcing support, and process optimization, simulation, and modeling services 
  • Energy Delivery and Management Services—Market-focused strategic consulting for energy service providers, such as local distribution companies (DistCos) and virtual utilities (WebCos); and energy efficiency services for end-users, such as in-facility metering, pricing information, purchasing strategies, power quality solutions, and custom power contracts 
  • Advanced Energy Technology Services—Leading-edge energy technology development for industrial and commercial applications, including renewable energy, distributed generation, and clean fossil energy systems; government- and private-sector technology feasibility studies and market evaluations; R&D planning and management outsourcing support; and hands-on implementation of advanced energy technologies 
  • Sustainable Development Services—Focused services for businesses, industries, and governments designed to incorporate sustainability concepts and approaches into policy, planning, and project implementation. Services include environmental assessments, environmental health and safety, industrial materials exchange and management, carbon management, regional planning, energy infrastructure planning, and urban utilities planning. 
  • Interactive Energy Services—Web-based information, modeling, and online consulting services; and strategy and transactions consulting to the emerging energy sector e-commerce industry

U.S. and International Focus

Nexant's staff of 125 full-time professional managers and consultants has already embarked on or completed several hundred assignments in the U.S. and around the world. Recent representative projects include:
  • Developing, implementing, and testing of the Nevada power market operating system for Automated Power Exchange—designed to be the prototype for the U.S. energy market 
  • Commercializing molten carbonate fuel cell technology, in conjunction with M-C Power, and demonstrating Nexant-developed proprietary solid oxide fuel cell design for leading international energy company 
  • Assisting the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority with the transformation of the emirate's state-owned water and electricity utility into the region's first privatized utility companies 
  • Developing a distributor commercialization strategy for Polish Power 
  • Developing the first-ever master plan for India's gas sector, enabling the government to formulate long-term national policies 
  • Managing and implementing 20 highly successful, state-of-the-art energy efficiency demonstration projects for Egyptian industries under a program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development 
  • Developing high-performance power systems, in conjunction with Foster Wheeler Development Corp. 
  • Conducting a major environmental assessment and developing a strategic management plan for Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, the largest body of fresh water in South America, under contract to Petroleos de Venezuela

Nexant Advantage

"A critical advantage we have is Nexant's knowledge base and expertise in energy industry operations and transactions," says Sarandah. "Our professional staff has years of practical experience working with global agencies, governments, and companies throughout the world."

Sarandah also noted that in addition to its in-house expertise in energy strategy, economics, transactions, and technology, Nexant has full access to Bechtel's staff and expertise in industry operations and project implementation. Bechtel is a worldwide leader in the design, development, and operation of energy facilities and related infrastructure, including power plants, refineries, and pipeline systems.

Nexant's advanced energy technology services are geared to helping clients prove-out commercial viability, penetrate markets, improve operating efficiencies, and launch new technology companies. Its technology focus ranges from fuel cells and solar thermal to clean fuels and high-performance power systems. With its ties to Silicon Valley information technology firms and its experience in the energy industry, Nexant is poised to develop new e-business services and solutions for its clients. Says Sarandah, "Our knowledge of the energy business, coupled with our technology expertise, represents a unique and very powerful combination in the consulting industry."

Nexant is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Washington, D.C., and London, which also will serve as the headquarters for Nexant's oil and gas services practice. Several Bechtel senior officers and directors, including Lee McIntire, Tim Statton, Bill Haynes, and Robert Dove, have joined the company,s Board of Managing Directors, with additional directors from Bechtel and other organizations to be named in the near future.