Chicago Bridge & Iron Company

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Chicago Bridge & Iron Company
Traded as NYSECBI
Founded 1889
Founder Horace E. Horton
George Wheelock
William Wheelock
Headquarters The Hague, Netherlands [1]
Area served
Key people
Michael L. Underwood
(Chairman of the Audit Committee)
L. Richard Flury
(Non Executive Chairman of the Board of Supervisory Directors
Philip K. Asherman
(President, CEO & Director)
Revenue Increase $ 12.93 billion (2012)[2]
Decrease $ -425.1 million (2015)[2]
Decrease $ -504.4 million (2015)[2]
Total assets Increase $ 9.202 billion (2015)[2]
Total equity Increase $ 2.164 billion (2015)[2]
Number of employees
50,000 (May 2013)[3]
CB&I administrative headquarters
Chicago Bridge & Iron Works, 1912 catalog

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, known commonly as CB&I, is a large American conglomerate engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company. CB&I specializes in projects for oil and gas companies. According to one of the founder's heirs, "The old joke is that Chicago Bridge & Iron isn't in Chicago, doesn't build bridges and doesn't use iron."[4]

CB&I currently employs approximately 40,000 people worldwide.

Corporate headquarters and leadership[edit]

The corporate headquarters are located in the Netherlands, with the administrative headquarters being located in the Woodlands, Texas.[5] Current corporate officers are:[6]

  • President and CEO, Philip K. Asherman
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Michael S. Taff
  • Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Sheila B. Feldman
  • Executive Vice President and Group President of Capital Services, E. Chip Ray
  • Executive Vice President of Global Operations Services, James W. Sabin
  • Executive Vice President and Group President of Technology, Daniel M. McCarthy
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer, Beth A. Bailey
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Richard E. Chandler
  • Executive Vice President and Group President of Fabrication Services, Luke V. Scorsone
  • Executive Vice President and Group President of Engineering, Construction and Maintenance, Patrick K. Mullen
  • Senior Vice President, Fossil Power, Bobby R. Smith


CB&I was founded in 1889 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, when Horace E. Horton, a bridge designer, agreed to merge business with George and William Wheelock of the Kansas City Bridge and Iron Company.

While initially involved in bridge design and construction, CB&I turned its focus to bulk liquid storage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, coinciding with the western expansion of railroads across the United States and the discovery of oil in the Southwest. CB&I quickly became known for design engineering and field construction of elevated water storage tanks, above-ground tanks for storage of petroleum and refined products, refinery process vessels and other steel plate structures.

CB&I supported the expansion of oil exploration outside the US, starting operations in South America in 1924, in Asia two years later and in the Middle East in 1939.

During World War II, CB&I was selected to build Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs). CB&I ranked 92nd among US corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.[7] LSTs carried troops and supplies to American and Allied troops fighting in Europe and the Pacific theater. CB&I was chosen because of their reputation and skills, particularly welding. Since the coastal shipyards were busy building large vessels for the war effort, such as aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers and destroyers, there was no alternative but to use the inland waterways and shipyards for the production of smaller ships.

Over the course of the company's history, CB&I has developed many technologies and achieved a number of industry milestones. These include the first floating-roof tank for the oil industry (1923), the first spherical pressure vessel (1923), the first double-wall liquid natural gas (LNG) storage tank (1958), the first site-assembled thick wall steel nuclear reactor vessel (1966), the first marine LNG storage and distribution terminal in the US (1971), the world's largest steel water reservoir (1986), the world's largest vacuum distillation tower (1999) and the world's largest thermal energy storage tank (2009).

CB&I has been involved in a number of changes during the past two decades. It was acquired by Praxair in 1996; Praxair kept a chemical subsidiary and spun off CB&I as a Dutch-incorporated company the next year.[4] CB&I headquarters moved from Chicago to Houston, Texas in 2001 and then to the Hague, Netherlands when Texas enacted a franchise tax.

Since 2000, it has acquired a number of companies. Most recently in 2012, CB&I agreed to buy The Shaw Group for about US$3 billion,[8][9][10] completing the acquisition in February 2013.[11]

The company built a number of bridges and other works that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[12] These works include (with varying attribution):

CB&I today[edit]

In late 2000, CB&I embarked on a series of acquisitions that have expanded its services to encompass the entire hydrocarbon industry, from conceptual design through technology licensing, engineering and construction, to final commissioning and technical services. CB&I acquired Lummus Global from ABB on November 19, 2007, adding approximately 3,000 employees to the CB&I payroll.[13][14] CB&I announced the acquisition of The Shaw Group in 2012, which added pipe, steel and module fabrication solutions as well as Engineering & Construction capabilities in the power generation industry that included fossil and nuclear construction. The transaction was completed on February 13, 2013. In 2015, CB&I announced that they are selling their Nuclear Construction division to Westinghouse Electric Company, a subsidiary of Toshiba, for $229 million.[15]

CB&I's global business groups are:

  • Technology, which offers licensed process technologies, catalysts, specialized equipment and engineered products for use in petrochemical facilities, oil refineries and gas processing plants.
  • Engineering, Construction, which provides engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of major energy infrastructure facilities
  • Fabrication Services, which offers fabrication capabilities for piping, structural steel, module prefabrication and assembly, as well as storage tanks and vessels for the oil and gas, water and wastewater, mining and power generation industries.
  • Capital Services, offers comprehensive services for government and private sector customers which include: power and industrial maintenance; turnarounds and outages; engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction; decommissioning and decontamination; environmental engineering and consulting; energy efficiency and sustainability; and program management.

Examples of recent major projects around the world include:

  • Two LNG import terminals in the UK (South Hook LNG in Milford Haven, Wales, which will be the largest LNG terminal in Europe; and the Grain LNG import terminal near London)
  • LNG liquefaction plant in Pampa Melchorita, Peru
  • Natural gas processing and treating complex in Cabinda Province, Angola
  • Crude vacuum and decoking unit expansion project for a refinery in Kansas, US
  • Golden Pass LNG import terminal near Sabine Pass, Texas, US
  • Large tankage facility at Shell Pearl GTL, Qatar
  • Hydrotreating and sulfur removal/recovery facilities for several major US refiners
  • LNG re-gasification terminal at Quintero Bay, Chile, worth approximately $775 million
  • Cat gas hydrotreater (CGHT) in El Paso, Texas, US
  • Hydrogen generation plant in Benecia, California, US
  • Propane dehydrogenation unit in Houston, Texas, US
  • Multiple Middle East storage facilities
  • Oil sands storage tanks in Alberta, Canada
  • In November 2004, CB&I was awarded a contract by one of the world's largest suppliers of wind turbines to fabricate 150 tubular steel support towers for wind turbines that were installed in wind farms in the western United States. The towers support 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, which are the largest wind turbines assembled in the United States and the most widely sold and tested megawatt-class wind turbines in the world.
  • In April 2012, CB&I was awarded a contract for a petrochemicals expansion project in Geismar, Louisiana, including the license and basic engineering for the ethylene technology.[16]


CB&I was revealed as a subscriber to the UK's Consulting Association, exposed in 2009 for operating an illegal construction industry blacklist; CB&I was one of 14 companies issued with enforcement notices by the UK Information Commissioner's Office.[17] A CB&I employee, Ron Barron, later employed by Bechtel, consulted the blacklist more than 900 times in 2007 alone, a 2010 employment tribunal was told.[18]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chicago Bridge Iron, Form 10-K, Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Chicago Bridge Iron, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 28, 2013" (PDF). Retrieved Mar 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Chicago Bridge & Iron Set For Spinoff
  5. ^
  6. ^ Executive Management Team, from
  7. ^ Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.619
  8. ^ Jim Polson and Thomas Black (30 July 2012). "CB&I to Buy Shaw Group for $3 Billion to Add Nuclear Unit". Bloomberg News. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Chicago Bridge & Iron, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 30, 2012". Retrieved Mar 25, 2013. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "CBI Completes SHAW Acquisition". Yahoo Finance. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  13. ^ "Chicago Bridge & Iron, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Aug 30, 2007". Retrieved Mar 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Chicago Bridge & Iron, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Nov 21, 2007" (PDF). Retrieved Mar 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ Smith, Rebecca (2015-10-29). "Westinghouse Buys CB&I Division to Beef Up Its Nuclear Business". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  16. ^ CB&I announces petrochemicals expansion project in the U.S.
  17. ^ "Construction blacklist". ICO. ICO. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  18. ^ Boffey, Daniel (2 December 2012). "Crossrail project dragged into blacklist scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 

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