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, and
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)[1]
Decrease $ -425.1 million (2015)[1]
Decrease $ -504.4 million (2015)[1]
Total assets Increase $ 9.202 billion (2015)[1]
Total equity Increase $ 2.164 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
50,000 (May 2013)[2]
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."[3] As of this date,[when?] CB&I currently employs approximately 40,000 people worldwide.[citation needed]

Corporate headquarters and leadership[edit]

As of February 2017, the corporate headquarters were located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, with the administrative headquarters being located in the Woodlands, Texas. USA[4]


Founding until World War II[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] As such, 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.[citation needed]

During World War II, CB&I was selected to build Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs), which carried troops and supplies to American and Allied troops fighting in Europe and the Pacific theater.[citation needed] CB&I was chosen because of their reputation and skills, particularly welding.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] As a result of these and other wartime production activities, CB&I ranked 92nd among US corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.[5][verification needed]

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.[3] CB&I headquarters moved from Chicago to Houston, Texas in 2001 and then to the Hague, Netherlands when Texas enacted a franchise tax.[citation needed]

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,[6][7][8] completing the acquisition in February 2013.[9]

The subsidiary that was formed as a result, CB&I Stone Webster—a result of Shaw Groups earlier acquisition of Stone & Webster during its bankruptcy—was again sold, in January 2016, to Westinghouse Electric Co., for US$ 229M.[10]

Historic structures[edit]

The company built a number of bridges and other works that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11] These works include (with varying attribution):

CB&I, 2000-present[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.[12][13] CB&I announced the acquisition of The Shaw Group in 2012, which added pipe, steel and module fabrication solutions as well as engineering and construction capabilities in the power generation industry that included fossil and nuclear construction. The transaction was completed on February 13, 2013.[citation needed] In 2015, CB&I announced that they are selling their Nuclear Construction division to Westinghouse Electric Company, a subsidiary of Toshiba, for $229 million.[14]

As of this date,[when?] 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;[citation needed]
  • Engineering, Construction, which provides engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of major energy infrastructure facilities;[citation needed]
  • 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;[citation needed]
  • Capital Services, offers comprehensive services for government and private sector customers which include:[citation needed]
* 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.

Recent major projects[edit]

Examples of recent major projects[when?] around the world include:

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.[citation needed] 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.[17]


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.[18] A CB&I employee consulted the blacklist more than 900 times in 2007 alone, a 2010 employment tribunal was told.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Chicago Bridge Iron, Form 10-K, Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Chicago Bridge Iron, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 28, 2013" (PDF). Retrieved Mar 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Young, David (6 March 1997). "Chicago Bridge & Iron Set For Spinoff". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  4. ^ CB&I Staff (15 February 2017). "Where We Work—Corporate Offices". Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. (1962). The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis. Cambridge, MA: Division of Research, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University. p. 619, of 736 pp. Retrieved 15 February 2017.  [verification needed]
  6. ^ Polson, Jim & Black, Thomas (30 July 2012). "CB&I to Buy Shaw Group for $3 Billion to Add Nuclear Unit". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 30 July 2012 – via 
  7. ^ CB&I Staff (30 July 2012). "Current Report, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V., The Netherlands". Form 8-K. Washington, DC: United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 15 February 2017 – via 
  8. ^ Chaudhuri, Saabira (30 July 2012). "Shaw Group Agrees to CB&I's $3.04B Takeover Bid". Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  9. ^ Zacks (14 February 2013). "CBI Completes Shaw Acquisition". Yahoo Finance. Chicago, IL: Zacks Equity Research. Retrieved 15 February 2017 – via 
  10. ^ Downey, John (January 6, 2016). "CB&I Completes Sale of Nuclear Subsidiary". Charlotte Business Journal . Charlotte, NC: American City Business Journals. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s [1].[dead link]
  12. ^ CB&I Staff (30 August 2007). "Current Report, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V., The Netherlands". Form 8-K. Washington, DC: United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 25 March 2013 – via 
  13. ^ CB&I Staff (21 November 2007). "Current Report, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V., The Netherlands" (PDF). Form 8-K. Washington, DC: United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 25 March 2013 – via 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ This will be the largest LNG terminal in Europe.[citation needed]
  16. ^ This is an approximately $775 million project.[citation needed]
  17. ^ "CB&I announces Petrochemicals Expansion Project in the U.S.". Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Construction blacklist". ICO. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  19. ^ Boffey, Daniel (2 December 2012). "Crossrail Project Dragged Into Blacklist Scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 

External links[edit]