Bechtel Opens Welding and Applied Technology Center

April 20, 2017

Bechtel has open a welding and applied technology center (WATC) focused on industry welding innovation and training, representing a critical step forward in the company's ongoing efforts to continuously improve cost and delivery value for customers.

"Through our efforts to incorporate leading-edge technologies, processes, and workforce development, Bechtel is now even better positioned to lead the industry in overall delivery of quality for our customers, but most importantly - at a better price," said Doug Omichinski, Bechtel's manager of construction. 

The full-scale testing and construction center houses Bechtel technical and subject matter experts all focused on accelerating technology advances in the construction industry, providing enhanced training for welding and construction colleagues as well as nurturing closer-collaboration between customers and partners.  The WATC also offers hands-on virtual training and augmented reality simulations, thus allowing Bechtel colleagues to perform on-the-job training in a safe and controlled environment as opposed to at a project site. 

Located in the Houston Energy Corridor, home to many of the largest energy companies in the world, the WATC is in close proximity to several of Bechtel's energy partners.  Omichinski added that Bechtel "looks forward to seeing the talent and ideas developed in the WATC in partnership with our customers. At the end of the day, this center is focused on self-performing at the highest quality level. Given that few EPC leaders self-perform this scope, the WATC gives us the opportunity to save our customers money by accelerating innovation for better solutions.  Bechtel maintains a large workforce in Houston, primarily through the presence of its global Oil, Gas & Chemicals business, which is headquartered in the city.

The company also announced a set of ambitious long-term targets to increase the company’s contributions to global sustainability.  The goals and targets are part of Bechtel’s ongoing and comprehensive strategy to further integrate sustainability within the company.

“How we plan and execute projects today has a profound impact on the future.  As an industry, we must continue to challenge ourselves to design, source materials, and build projects that are more resilient, safer, smarter, greener, and more cost-efficient for our customers and society,” said Tam Nguyen, Bechtel’s global head of sustainability. “These goals also make sense from a business point of view as sustainability measures can increase the financial bottom-line of a company.”   For example, Bechtel created a patent pending technology for gas-fired power plants that can reduce the power lost during carbon capture – the process of removing of carbon emissions – by almost 65 percent, while lowering capital costs by more than 30 percent.

Bechtel established four long-term sustainability goals where the company’s experience, technologies, and core competencies can make a substantial global impact: support global goals around energy, infrastructure, water, and worker welfare; drive sustainability in project development and delivery; strengthen the resilience of communities; and leverage supplier engagements to catalyse sustainable opportunities.

By 2030, Bechtel aims to:

  • Contribute 100 ideas to help achieve the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Improve the resilience of five million people to natural hazards through our voluntary initiatives 
  • Use sustainable alternatives to reduce our environmental footprint on 100 percent of our key projects and non-project facilities.
  • Engage 100 percent of our key suppliers to promote sustainability in the delivery of materials and services, and prevent modern-day slavery, including within their own supply chains.