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The Road to Recovery

By Chemical Engineering |

Like most other businesses, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms have felt the pinch of the economic downturn. While EPCs that specialize in building processing plants are optimistic that recent global interest in renewable and bioprocessing projects to create alternative fuels, power and chemicals may fill some of the void, most say they will continue to pursue work in markets where they are already established for a variety of reasons. Among the concerns are the high-risk profiles and technical challenges associated with biomass and renewable projects and the continued need for other types of processing and power facilities. “EPCs obviously have to push forward in renewable and other emerging fields, but also keep a focus on conventional industries,” says John Derbyshire, senior vice president of technology with KBR (Houston) who says his firm is tentatively looking at increased interest in renewables as a new source of business while continuing its work in “bottom of the barrel” upgrading for its refinery customers because conventional technologies will continue to dominate the world energy map. “If you look at the percentage of contribution for renewable forms of energy over the next…
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