Bechtel: Partners in transformation

April 26, 2018

By Hussam Al Mayman

BECHTEL Group is interested in Saudi Arabia’s plans for a civilian nuclear program and is discussing potential roles for the company.

CEO Brendan Bechtel revealed this during his recent visit to Riyadh, where the San Francisco-based engineering and construction company celebrated its 75th anniversary of doing business in Saudi Arabia.

The CEO told Saudi Gazette that Bechtel’s history in Saudi Arabia started with a vision. More than 75 years ago, King Abdul Aziz Bin Saud imagined a country that could match — or surpass — any in the world with highways, utilities, airports and other signs of modern progress.

Today, the King’s dream is a reality through ambitious projects of the time — such as Trans Arabian pipeline, Jubail Industrial City, King Khalid International Airport — that Bechtel had the honor to have been a part of. And as the nation is undergoing another transformation through Vision 2030, we continue our commitment to the country and its people. We will build on the trust we’ve earned by delivering world-class projects, and support prudent governance as the Vision takes shape.

"The connection with Saudi Arabia is not only a business one. It’s a personal connection as well. My great grandfather, my grandfather and my father all worked in the Kingdom. I first visited some 30 years ago, as a little boy, and even then I had a sense of wonder about the country and its people. The intertwining of the leadership vision and execution of transformative projects is inspiring.

“And to see that relationship continue 75 years later makes the entire Bechtel team humbled and honored. Our history legacy here runs so deep that I can’t really pick one project. It would be like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. Just take a look at some of the projects we are working on today — decades of continued partnership in Jubail, groundbreaking Riyadh Metro, support for the future at NPMO," added Bechtel.

Bechtel also added that nowhere in the world have they had the opportunity — the privilege — to participate so fully in the very history of a country. He said, "We’ve helped develop and modernize every segment of the Kingdom’s infrastructure, the fundamental systems that support the country’s economy and drive growth. And we’ve worked with thousands of Saudi businesses and tens of thousands of Saudi professionals. They all grew with us, delivered amazing projects with us, and are today sustaining local economies in the country. I speak on behalf of all those colleagues that we are committed to the next 75 years, supporting the ambitious Vision 2030 plans by bringing unique perspective on partnering, innovation, and construction."

Commenting on their involvement with the Jubail Project, the CEO said that Bechtel has been involved with Jubail since its beginning in the 1970s. It’s one of those transformative projects that changed the face of the country. It took visionary leadership to transform a fishing village into a major player in the global petrochemicals market, attracting top technical and business minds from 40 countries.

After the work on the original Jubail, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu asked Bechtel to manage Jubail II, an $11 billion (2006-2016) expansion of the city’s industrial and residential areas. The project was expanded for a further five years in 2016 with our work today focusing on providing residential accommodation and education facilities — including an 18,000-student 'greenfield' university — as well as roads, bridges, medical centers, and power, water and waste facilities.

The complexity and scale of megaprojects like Jubail warrant challenges during development. Collaboration is the key to addressing those challenges: collaboration with the customer to ensure their goals are met and risks mitigated, and collaboration with the community to ensure long-term sustainable future.

"We also hold safety and quality as unwavering values in everything we do, integral to the culture on our projects," he said, adding, Bechtel is a contractor for the Riyadh Metro project.

The CEO concluded by saying "Riyadh Metro is a landmark project for the country that will improve mobility, carbon emissions and congestion in the city critical for the future economic development. The project is also creating job and training opportunities for local talent. Our team is honored to be part of such an important project." — SG

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