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Taiwan could see US$10 billion in investment by American construction behemoth Bechtel

Company sees Taiwan as full of potential opportunities, great base for operations in Southeast Asia

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Former Bechtel headquarters in San Francisco. 

Former Bechtel headquarters in San Francisco.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Bechtel anticipates at least US$10 billion in investment opportunities in Taiwan over the next 10 years, according to the company’s head of Asia-Pacific operations, Richard W. Freer.

The U.S.' largest construction firm aims to capitalize on opportunities in the market as Taiwan aims to end nuclear energy by 2025 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to Nikkei Asia.

In particular, Freer is eyeing opportunities in Taiwan’s liquefied natural gas sector, which is one of the largest in the world, he told Nikkei in an interview.

Bechtel moved its regional headquarters from Shanghai to Taipei in 2019 to not only better position itself to take advantage of new openings in Taiwan but also in markets across Southeast Asia, a region that is witnessing a rapid increase in new energy projects.

The company is involved in the Australia-Asia PowerLink, one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects, according to a Reuters report put out last month. Starting in 2027, the project will carry energy from a mega solar farm in Australia's sunny Northern Territory to Singapore.

Bechtel also expects tech manufacturing projects to boom across the region as more companies shift production out of China and into Southeast Asia, Freer told Nikkei. He added that his company is also leveraging its expertise in its home market to advise Taiwanese manufacturers looking to set up shop in the U.S. as Washington pushes forward with its plans to revive the country’s industrial base.

Freer indicated the new developments at Bechtel are a continuation of a long string of projects it has undertaken in Taiwan over the past few decades, which has given the company a deep familiarity with the country's business environment. In the past, Bechtel also worked on Google data centers and Formosa Plastics petrochemical plants.

Bechtel feels at home in Taiwan and has a broad base of operations here, he said, adding that the high transparency of the government’s procurement process is a clear strength.