- Engineering and construction company Black & Veatch has announced it is ceasing participation in coal-based design and construction projects in an attempt to focus on more renewable energy work.
- Black & Veatch has been its increasing focus on renewable energy and energy storage projects over the last decade. The transition away from coal-based jobs will allow the firm to more fully focus on sustainable energy projects.
- The Overland Park, Kansas-based company will fulfill current project commitments, however, the firm said new efforts will focus on supporting clients in transitioning their energy project portfolio.
Black & Veatch’s decision to move away from coal-based projects comes both from a global business trend and a desire to better benefit its clients, the company said in a statement.
“The global power industry is in the midst of a historic transformation away from coal-based power,” said Mario Azar, president of Black & Veatch’s power business. “As our clients work to transform to low- or no-carbon energy, we felt that now is the time to focus the diverse skills of our team on advanced class natural gas power generation, energy storage technologies and new combustion fuels such as hydrogen.”
In an example of the company’s move to clean energy projects, earlier this year it was selected to work on the Intermountain Power Agency Renewal Project, one of the earliest installations of combustion turbine technology designed to use a high percentage of green hydrogen.
Honoring its commitments to complete the remaining coal-based projects will take a few months, Azar said, and some projects are much closer to completion than others.
At the same time, he said, Black & Veatch will still carry out projects to convert coal plants to cleaner energy sources, as well as decommissioning existing coal plants. The biggest change is the contractor will no longer extend the life of any coal facility.
The transition to cleaner energies is one many multinational companies are making globally, although it is not easy.
“Any decision of this nature will have an impact, but our global client base is overwhelmingly pushing toward a zero-carbon future,” Azar said. “The fundamental challenge for the industry is whether to look to the future or continue to look to the past.