Canadian Consulting Engineer

Giant U.S. Bechtel joins with Quebec consulting firm BPR

June 21, 2002
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The international engineering giant Bechtel Group is poised to gain a firmer foothold in the consulting engineering...

The international engineering giant Bechtel Group is poised to gain a firmer foothold in the consulting engineering industry in Canada. Last week it announced that it will combine with BPR Group of Quebec City, a consulting engineering firm established in 1961.
BPR has over 750 employees in 12 offices in Quebec, plus one in France and one in the U.S.
Bechtel, based in San Francisco, dwarfs the Quebec company, with its workforce of 50,000. Bechtel has previously been involved in engineering construction in Canada, including the James Bay hydroelectric project and the recent Suncor oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta, but its joint venture with BPR takes it into the consulting field.
The new company is to be called BPR-Bechtel and will focus on the aluminum and heavy industry sectors. It will be based in Montreal and Bechtel has said it will relocate its North American mining and metals headquarters to the city from Denver. It also plans to make Montreal the home of its Centre for Aluminum Excellence, which will be a base for executing large projects worldwide.
Quebec is a world centre for aluminum with the giants Alcan and other companies based in the province. Riley Bechtel, chairm and chief executive of the family owned Bechtel Group, said that 1,200 jobs will be created in Montreal from the joint venture during the next few years.
Though they are initially concentrating on the heavy metal and industrial sectors, Riley Bechtel hinted they would be using the Montreal office as a platform for involvement in a wider field in the province where engineering has hitherto been dominated by firms like SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier. Bechtel’s website announcement says Bechtel “believes the company can plan an important role in helping Quebec develop other sectors of its economy, including power generation, civil infrastructure, petrochemicals and telecommunications. He also mentioned Bechtel’s success at forging public private partnerships, and said “We’re interested in contributing our expertise in any way that makes sense to maintain Quebec’s economic momentum.”
Bechtel’s web site lists numerous projects around the world, many of which are in the power generation, oil and mining sectors.


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