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US contracting giant Burns & McDonnell opens UK office

US construction heavyweight Burns & McDonnell has set out its ambition to design and deliver some of Britain’s critical infrastructure after opening its first UK office.

The $2.5bn-turnover firm has opened an office in Birmingham and set its sights on expansion in the UK infrastructure market.

The company’s UK business will be led by Jonathan Chapman, who spent nearly a decade at Balfour Beatty – most recently as director for its power and T&D arm.

Mr Chapman’s previous roles include director of Balfour’s offshore transmission arm and head of business development in its utilities division.

It is understood Burns & McDonnell will be targeting both design and construction work within the UK, focusing on the power and energy market as well as other infrastructure projects.

The company confirmed that its management team also included UK business development director Jeff Casey, who previously performed a similar role in the US for the firm’s north-east division and its power and T&D business.

The Missouri-based firm told Construction News it was now actively hiring in the UK, as well as looking to bring in further expertise from the US.

Burns & McDonnell currently employs 5,700 engineers, designers and other construction workers across 40 locations in North America and the rest of the world.

It has experience as designer, programme manager and contractor across a number of sectors including power, water, commercial and aviation sectors.

Mr Chapman said: “The company is looking to expand and the UK is an obvious market in terms of infrastructure and commonality of engineering practice and compliance.

“We want to build on our track record and use our experience to deliver in the UK.

“We are facing disruptive challenges in the electric industry here in the UK.

“These challenges require innovation in the types of investment and technology deployment to support renewable energy, energy storage, connection of new nuclear and the shift to electric vehicles.”

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