Week of July 8, 2002
Blockbuster Deal of the Week
from Site Selection's exclusive New Plant database
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650 Jobs from BPR JV
Northward-Bound Bechtel Will Spur Creation of 1,200 New Jobs in Quebec
By JACK LYNE,
Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
Global Center for Aluminum Excellence Some of Bechtel's big Montreal growth will come from its North American mining and metals headquarters. Bechtel is relocating the mining and metals center of operations to the Quebec city from Denver, the company's chairman and chief executive announced.
More local-area expansion will be spurred by Bechtel's decision to make Montreal its global Center for Aluminum Excellence. The Montreal operation, explained Riley Bechtel, will be "the execution hub" for the company's mining and metals projects in North America, as well as serving as the base for executing large aluminum projects worldwide.
But the biggest share of the new jobs - 650 positions in all - will come from a new corporate entity, BPR-Bechtel. BPR-Bechtel is a joint-venture company that the U.S. firm announced that it has formed with BPR (www.bpr.qc.ca), one of Quebec's most prominent engineering firms.
Equally owned by the two partners, BPR-Bechtel will focus on the aluminum and heavy-industry sectors, explained Riley Bechtel and Paul Lafleur, president and CEO of Quebec City-based BPR. The BPR-Bechtel joint venture will begin operations with 350 BPR employees, Lafleur explained. The company will add 650 more positions over the next several years, he said.
Most of BPR-Bechtel's growth, Lafleur noted, will be in Montreal. But new positions will also be added in BPR's offices in Alma, Quebec City and Saguenay, he added.
Bechtel Chairman: Quebec 'World Center for
"Today, more than ever, this is a great place for Bechtel to do business," the chairman and chief executive said. "Montreal has a deep pool of talented professional workers, and it offers them a quality of life second to none. Business costs are competitive, and the economy is growing."
Bechtel was also drawn by Quebec's high profile in the aluminum business. The province ranks as the world's second-largest aluminum exporter. Quebec's global orientation gives the province's lofty aluminum-sector status an added edge for exporting, said the great grandson of company founder W.A. Bechtel.
"Quebec is a world center for aluminum production and metal manufacturing," he noted. "And Montreal's international focus offers the potential for export business that can benefit the local engineering firms, suppliers and manufacturers who work with us."
Bechtel has deep historic roots in Quebec's aluminum industry. The company has reportedly built more than half of the aluminum smelters now operating in the province. Bechtel two years ago completed its most recent project in that sector in Alma. The US$1.7 billion Alcan smelter in Alma is one of the world's largest, with an annual capacity of more than 400,000 tons (360,000 metric tons).
Bechtel has been working on projects in Quebec since 1960. The company's work history in the province includes building Quebec's massive James Bay hydroelectric projects during the 1970s. But while Bechtel's reputation in Quebec has been closely tied to aluminum, the company could play a significant role in helping develop other Quebec economic sectors, Riley Bechtel said. Those potential business sectors, he explained, include civil infrastructure, petrochemicals, power generation and telecommunications. Bechtel Group has a staff of 50,000 working on 1,000 current worldwide projects in engineering, construction and project management.
"We're interested in contributing our expertise in any way that makes sense to maintain Quebec's economic momentum," Bechtel said.
Retired Alcan Executive Named to
"By combining our experience and familiarity with the Quebec industrial sector and our proven track record in plant engineering with the world-renowned expertise of Bechtel, a giant in engineering/construction, BPR-Bechtel will be in a position to offer a unique service to major clients in Quebec and abroad," said Lafleur.
BPR employs a staff of more than 1,000 people in 12 Quebec offices. The company also has offices in France and the United States.
Bechtel's four-point Canadian initiative also included naming aluminum business leader Emery LeBlanc to the boards of both Bechtel Quebec and Bechtel Canada. LeBlanc is the retired president of the Primary Metal Group at Montreal-based Alcan, the world's second-largest aluminum producer.
Bechtel Canada President Brian Kenny called LeBlanc "a pre-eminent Quebecois, a highly respected Montreal businessman and an aluminum industry expert of global stature." The ex-Alcan leader will be "a highly valued mentor and counselor," he added.
©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.