Business digest: New Fluor unit

Fluor, a publicly traded engineering and construction giant based in Irving, Texas, has announced plans to create a new business unit for global renewable energy.

The company, currently developing the 500 MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind project in the UK, will pursue opportunities in wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.

Although no specific US wind projects have been announced, Fluor is examining a variety of sites, including several on the east coast, says the company's Keith Stephens. Fluor's business model is likely to include partnering with entities that can use the power as well as help provide financing.

"We would look at teaming with an investor-owned utility or another independent power producer," Stephens says. "Then we'd end up selling out of the ownership and building on behalf of the owner." Fluor will use existing offices in California and Spain to serve global clients. "The impetus for the business unit being created is really just taking the best that we have from all our business units and housing the renewable-related resources - personnel, projects and technologies - all under one roof," Stephens says. The company reported revenues of $22.3 billion in 2008 through its operations on six continents.

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