Black & Veatch completed Ukraine’s first Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory in Odessa on time and under budget. The new facility enhances the government’s existing disease surveillance systems to detect, report and respond to bioterrorism attacks, epidemics and potential pandemics.
The BSL-3 laboratory in Odessa was designed and constructed by Black & Veatch. It is the first BSL-3 laboratory in the region and the first to be commissioned, accredited and operational under the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP).
“Completing the construction effort under budget definitely exceeded our expectations,” said Doug Gorsline, DTRA BTRP Ukraine Project Manager.
Bradley Karn, DTRA BTRP Program Manager, added, “More important was the quality of the effort. Black & Veatch was able to renovate a decades-old facility into a state-of-the-art diagnostics laboratory that will become the nexus of Ukraine’s biosurveillance network.”
The BSL-3 laboratory was specifically designed and constructed to support work with especially dangerous pathogens that can be naturally occurring or introduced through a bioterrorism attack. It serves as a central location for research, consolidation and training on the proper handling of dangerous pathogens. The lab also provides the Ukrainian Ministry of Health a safe environment to confirm diagnosis of suspected dangerous pathogens, enhancing public health while deterring bioterrorism.
As integrating contractor, Black & Veatch is responsible to DTRA and the Ministry of Health for the full rollout of the BTRP in Ukraine. Black & Veatch is ensuring the mission’s success by training Ukrainian personnel in molecular diagnostics, biosafety, operations and maintenance, and laboratory management techniques. This training, along with three years of gradually decreasing sustainment and transition support, will provide Ukrainian scientists with the necessary resources to manage the BSL-3 laboratory and the Ukrainian biosurveillance system going forward.