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Black & Veatch retains Engineering News-Record top ranking in telecommunications

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2018 Top Design Firm list highlights global leadership in power, water and telecom infrastructure services

Fueled by growth across its networked infrastructure, smart city applications, and grid modernization services, Black & Veatch has retained the top global telecommunications ranking among U.S.-based engineering companies – the eighth time in the past nine years the company has held that distinction in the Engineering News-Record’s “Top 500 Design Firms” report. Global demand for infrastructure services also drove the company’s performance in ENR’s power and water rankings, reflecting the diversified company’s leadership status among global engineering, construction and consulting companies.

Black & Veatch leaped five places to 10th overall on the Top 500 list while placing  11th in the Top 50 Designers in International Markets list, up two spots from last year. The company remained No. 2 in power, rose one place to fourth in water and improved four spots to fourth in sewer/wastewater.

The company’s top ranking in telecommunications aligns with dramatic growth within the industry: rapidly expanding deployment of 5G technology, upgrades to aging assets through grid modernization, and the growing role of Big Data to help smart cities and businesses become more efficient. For instance, Black & Veatch’s recent 2018 Strategic Directions: Smart Cities & Utilities Report found that nearly three-quarters of electric utilities either have a grid modernization plan in place, or are currently developing one, while nearly 77 percent of utilities plan to adopt a managed charging approach to balance increased load on the grid related to EV charging.

“Our position as the leading provider of solutions to the telecom sector has been driven by a team of highly talented professionals working together to deliver innovative, scalable processes that create unparalleled value for our clients,” said Steve Edwards, Black & Veatch’s Chairman and CEO.  “With 5G, the quest for more bandwidth and cities adopting smart technologies, we are extremely confident in the growth of the telecom business.”

Black & Veatch’s growth in 2017 stretched well beyond telecommunications, including the increasing buildout of digital infrastructure to support EVs and autonomous vehicles and significant projects burnishing the company’s reputation as a trusted, efficient provider of critical human infrastructure across diverse markets and geographies:

  • Power Delivery: When American Electric Power – with 5.4 million customers, among the biggest U.S. electric utilities – needed to enhance its aging western Texas power system prone to disruptions, it turned to Black & Veatch to design and ultimately build the new Cassava substation.  The project also included installing 13 miles of new overhead transmission line that doubled capacity of the previous line.
  • Desalination: In Escondida, Chile, Black & Veatch completed a 57-million-gallons-per-day desalination plant and related infrastructure. The plant, among the biggest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, provides water for a copper mine and was named the industrial desalination plant of the year at last year’s Global Water Summit. Black & Veatch also was awarded an expansion project there to boost water production and conveyance capacity.
  • Power Generation: Near Pittsburgh, Black & Veatch is providing engineering, procurement and construction services for a planned 925-megawatt power plant. The natural gas combined cycle plant called the Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station will produce enough electricity to power 925,000 homes in Pennsylvania and a dozen other northeastern states.
  • Flood Resilience: The first phase of a Black & Veatch-designed McCook Reservoir near Chicago was wrapped up last year as a key component of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago’s effort to capture billions of potential gallons of flood water or sewage overflows. Black & Veatch has provided planning, design, engineering and construction support on various aspects of the district’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan since 2001.
  • Microgrids: Black & Veatch, along with Schneider Electric, last year began designing and building an energy security microgrid at the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar in San Diego, California. Once completed, the microgrid will provide resiliency, incorporate renewable energy and allow operations at mission-critical sites to continue if the utility power grid is compromised or damaged.
  • Water Sustainability: Black & Veatch’s work on a $1.3-billion expansion of a Koch Industries subsidiary’s fertilizer plant in Oklahoma last year was honored the Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s inaugural “Water for 2060 Excellence Award,” a sustainability recognition. Black & Veatch designed the new water-treatment system that enables Koch Fertilizer to switch the majority of its water supply from potable water to reclaimed city water. The Koch Fertilizer project team also won Koch’s internal “Project of the Year” award.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas: Looking to develop the rapidly proliferating gas market in India, a Swan Energy subsidiary last year hired Black & Veatch to deliver critical elements of India’s first liquefied natural gas terminal involving on a floating storage and regasification unit. That project in Jafrabad will have the production capacity of 5 million metric tons of natural gas per year.
  • Waste Management: A consultancy team led by Black & Veatch provided professional owner’s engineering services for an integrated waste-to-energy site in Singapore. The facility will be designed with an incineration capacity of 5,800 tons per day, making it among the world’s biggest such sites.
  • Meter Protection: In Maryland, Black & Veatch’s Management Consulting developed for Baltimore Gas Electric a program to identify, relocate, and protect gas meters exposed to vehicular traffic within their service territory.  That work included developing a construction game plan and customer outreach processes for the effort. Last year, the project team won a BGE Customer Service Award the recognized the customer outreach.
  • Water Reuse: In California’s Orange County, Black & Veatch was chosen to design the final expansion of the groundwater replenishment system that already was the world’s largest indirect potable reuse scheme. The buildout will boost the site’s capacity to 130 million gallons per day.

    Editor's Notes:

    • The demand for Black & Veatch’s services is being met by more than 11,000 professionals who are delivering engineering, construction, procurement, consulting and technology solutions.
    • Engineering News-Record is a 101-year-old industry publication of BNP Media. ENR provides news, analysis, commentary and data that construction industry professionals use to do their jobs more effectively.
    • The Top 500 Rankings are based on revenues within the individual business lines. 

    Black & Veatch Media Contact Information:

    JIM SUHR | +1 913-458-6995 P | +1 314-422-6927 M | SuhrJ@bv.com
    24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149

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    About Black & Veatch

    Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2017 were US$3.4 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

    @black_veatch