Black & Veatch turns 100

US contractor eyes more EPC, smart grid, renewable, and water projects as it embarks on second century.

Mazen Alami
Mazen Alami

Black & Veatch today marks 100 years of providing critical infrastructure solutions for clients around the world.

Founded on August 12, 1915 by Ernest Bateman Black and Nathan Thomas Veatch with 12 employees, the company now provides energy, telecommunications and water solutions in more than 100 countries.

The company is commemorating its centennial with celebrations at locations around the globe – with events taking place on August 12 across 16 time zones.

“Creating the critical energy and water infrastructure in which we specialise is central to the agenda of Gulf state governments,” said Mazen Alami, Managing Director, Middle East at Black & Veatch.

“While Black & Veatch has been serving communities in the Middle East since the 1920s, the latest surge in demand means we are seeking to appoint and develop local expertise in ever greater numbers.”

Steve Edwards, Chairman and CEO, said: “For a century, Black & Veatch has provided the building blocks for business, technology and communities to grow and prosper around the world. We carry our history of innovation and putting clients first in everything we do today.

“This approach has helped us grow to more than 10,000 professionals working on more than 6,000 projects across the globe. While we celebrate our 100th year, we also believe our most exciting opportunities are yet to come.

“The opportunities for our professionals are very strong in both traditional infrastructure projects and emerging markets,” added Edwards. “As we look back at the past century, we see that technology continues to revolutionize the industries we serve. We look forward to helping our clients navigate this period of change.”

Edwards also cited some key growth areas for the company as it enters its second century. These include engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and design-build projects, as well as significant growth in professional services for engineering, design and consulting.

EPC projects provide value for clients in the energy, water and telecommunications sectors. The EPC approach reduces project risks for the client and delivers predictable results. It also increases the effectiveness of capital planning.

In addition, the evolving implementation of Smart Integrated Infrastructure and Smart City projects will benefit communities and business. The sensors and data analytics being applied add efficiency to power, water and communications networks.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal are transforming the power market. They are gaining momentum in economies across Southeast Asia, Africa and other regions. Electricity generation, in turn, is becoming more decentralized. Microgrids will expand and offer greater security and efficiency for clients. They will promote environmentally friendly power generation.

Rising awareness of water scarcity issues will make the word “wastewater” a term of the past. Public acceptance of water reuse strategies is growing. Opportunities are expanding to efficiently treat and recycle water.

Always-on networks are producing waves of data that require storage. Energy, water and communications will rely heavily on cloud-based computing. This provides a strong business opportunity.

The shale gas revolution continues to alter the global power generation market. Natural gas is a potential fuel of choice for transportation, marine, mining and new chemical applications.


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