I was in the San Francisco Office for 2 or 3 months before going to Indonesia. I was staying in a hotel close to the office and could walk back and forth to work- if you could call it to work. Mostly just killing time until the project started. 

San Francisco is full of weird-ohs and while I was there, I got to see a bunch of naked people demonstrating something while walking around the streets. That’s when I learned to appreciate clothes because some people should have been wearing something. I’ll remember the address Bechtel Building 50 Beale Street, San Francisco CA. the building was known as the Bechtel Building and subsequently the Blue Shield of California Building.

When I worked for the company, in the beginning, Steve Bechtel was running the company and near the end of my career, one of his sons was in charge.


Here is a brief history of Bechtel moving their business to Reston, Virginia, in 2018. 

Executives said, moving the company’s base of operations out of California for the first time in more than a century. The firm’s Reston office has functioned as a de facto “operational headquarters” since 2011, with chairman and chief executive Brendan Bechtel based there alongside about 1,300 employees.

They have headquartered Bechtel in San Francisco since the early years of the 20th century. But in recent decades, its business units in Houston and the Washington area have grown in prominence as the firm’s work has grown with oil and gas construction services, management of nuclear facilities, and government contracting.

Hoover Dam was a courageous undertaking. Built during the Great Depression, the dam would tame the flood-prone Colorado River southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, protecting cities and farms, generating cheap electricity to supply power to homes and industry, and providing work for thousands who desperately needed jobs.

A consortium called Six Companies Inc., which included Bechtel, won the right to build the concrete arch dam, at a cost of nearly $49 million—a staggering amount in the early 1930s (roughly equivalent to $860 million today). Skeptics thought it couldn’t be done. They convinced others that the contractors would go bust. But the men of Six Companies boldly moved forward, drawing on their considerable collective knowledge and experience, managing enormous risks, and pioneering as they went.

Bechtel founder Warren Bechtel and his son Steve were key leaders of the consortium, and their contributions to the project amounted to a blueprint for how their company, Bechtel, would approach huge, difficult, and complex projects to come. Six Companies finished the dam in five years, two years early and under budget, giving company leaders the confidence that they could take on any project, anytime, anywhere.


Freeport McMoRan:

The story of the Grasberg mine began in the mid-1930s when Dutch colonists discovered copper deposits in the Jayawijaya Mountain glaciers in the Indonesian part of New Guinea. Mining operations began in 1972. However, the mine was largely exhausted by the mid-1980s. It wasn’t until 1988 when PT Freeport Indonesia (subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.) began exploring additional deposits in the area that they discovered it had the potential to become an exceptionally profitable site.

Estimated to have $40 billion in gold ore reserves, the Grasberg mine has reached mythical status, earning the title of the largest and most lucrative gold producing mine in existence. But does Grasberg still hold its coveted designation?

In the providence of Papua, the Grasberg mine sits at an altitude of 14,000 feet in the remote highlands of the Sudirman Mountain Range. The mine is a joint venture between Freeport-McMoRan and mining juggernaut Rio Tinto, with Freeport owning 60 percent of the mine and Rio Tinto owning the remaining 40 percent. Freeport owns a 90.64 percent interest in PT Freeport Indonesia, which operates the mine. In its first full year of operations, the Grasberg mine produced 196,000 ounces of gold, making it an immediate success.

The rate at which the company has been excavating the site has grown year-on-year. According to Freeport McMoRan’s 2013 annual report, the company’s gold production reached 1.14 million ounces in 2013, 862,000 ounces of gold in 2012, and 1.44 million ounces of gold in 2011. Gold production for the mine increased 32 percent from 2012 to 2013 and gold sales are expected to touch 1.6 million ounces in 2014.