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Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. and Bechtel Corporation

1998 Industry Partnership Award

1998 marks 100 years that Bechtel has provided quality and innovative services to the mining industry.  Bechtel, a global organization working for the mining, metal and minerals industry, has contributed to more than 300 mining projects and 900 mining studies covering all aspects of the ferrous, non-ferrous, precious metals, and energy minerals industries. The company, founded in Oklahoma by Warren A. Bechtel, began with railroad work that soon took the new company to California. Bechtel branched out to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services and pioneered the construction application of motorized trucks, tractors and diesel-powered shovels. During the 1930s, Bechtel began tackling large joint ventures and public works projects. Hoover Dam, the largest masonry structure since the Great Pyramid, was one of the first built by a partnership of W. A. Bechtel Company and other companies.

Following his father's sudden death in 1933, Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr. became president. He expanded into new markets, including refineries and chemical plants, and handled large assignments in support of the Allied effort during World War II. The new Bechtel Corporation pioneered the turnkey concept - taking full responsibility for a project until completion. The election of Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. as president in 1960 marked Bechtel’s third generation of family leadership. Keeping pace with this new era, Bechtel served markets including pollution abatement, transportation, urban planning, medicine, and education. In the 1970s, Bechtel branched into advanced telecommunications systems and became a leader in the liquefied natural gas industry. In 1972, Bechtel was responsible for engineering or construction of about 20 percent of the new power-generating capacity in the United States. By the end of the decade, they had been involved in the design and construction of more than 70 large airport projects around the world. Riley P. Bechtel became chief executive officer of Bechtel Group, Inc. when his father retired in 1990.  Under his direction, the company continues to evolve.

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