Bechtel today announced it has been selected by Xcel Energy to provide engineering, field engineering, and construction services at the utility’s Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear generating plants in Minnesota.
As part of a five-year contract, Bechtel will manage projects and provide project engineering and construction services. It will also have on-site engineering, construction, and project controls staff at each plant. The agreement is significant because it represents a shift in how plant services are provided. Typically, utilities rely on a mix of internal and external contractors to provide the services, as had been the practice of Xcel Energy. This agreement relies on a single provider.
“The integration of engineering and construction activities is a forward-thinking approach for our industry that will increase plant reliability and improve the end product for customers,” said Carl Rau, president of Bechtel’s nuclear division.
“We expect the integration of services into a single provider will result in more predictable and efficient completion of capital projects and delivery of plant services, which ultimately will benefit our customers and stakeholders by providing more cost-effective and reliable electricity,” said Dennis Koehl, Xcel Energy vice president and chief nuclear officer.
Bechtel employees will perform the following types of work:
Construction activities associated with capital projects and modifications; outage maintenance and modification craft augmentation; day-to-day support for scaffolding construction and disassembly; and construction labor.
Engineering services, including detailed design activities in performance of capital projects modifications such as security projects, equipment reliability modifications, and plant infrastructure upgrades, and specialized engineering analyses for plant operation.
Field engineering, including performing detailed work planning and field implementation support for capital projects and modifications, such as major equipment replacements and upgrades.
Bechtel’s history with Xcel Energy dates back to the late 1960s, when Bechtel completed design and construction of the Monticello single-unit boiling water reactor plant. Our involvement continued into the 1990s as we provided nuclear operating plant services at that facility. Bechtel has served the nuclear power market for more than 60 years, worked at more than 150 nuclear plants worldwide, and has provided services to more than 85 percent of the U.S. nuclear fleet. Today, Bechtel has more than 3,000 employees working on nuclear projects.