Bechtel National Awarded $1.2 Billion for Operations at Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

Bechtel National Inc. was awarded a contract modification, worth around $1.2 billion, for operations at the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP).

Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds for the modification amount were obligated at the time of the award. The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) at Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) in Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J09-C-0012)(P00186).

Work will be performed in Pueblo, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2023.

The contract modification includes the construction of three new structures, which are called static detonation chambers, to destroy munitions that could not be easily processed by automated equipment at the PCAPP.

“The mission of this plant, our people, and our customer has international significance: to help rid the U.S. of chemical weapons,” said Barbara Rusinko, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit. “The team overcame the challenge posed by some munitions and is now simultaneously operating the main plant and building the new destruction facilities.”

“This is an important achievement that helps the program continue our most important responsibility–maintaining the safety of the community, the workforce and the environment,” said Michael S. Abaie, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program executive officer. “This puts us in a good position to complete the mission of the safe destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile stored at Pueblo Chemical Depot by December 2023 and the closure efforts that will follow.”

Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP)

The Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) is a chemical weapons destruction facility that has been built to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot near Pueblo in southeastern Colorado.

The depot contains munitions that are part of the U.S. national chemical weapons stockpile. Before chemical weapons disposal began at PCAPP, these munitions contained around 2,600 tons of mustard agent. The weapons have been stored at the 23,000-acre (93 km2) depot since the 1950s.

Destruction of this stockpile is a requirement of the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international treaty to which the United States is a party. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention and monitors the progress of the nation’s chemical weapons destruction programs.

The construction phase of the PCAPP was completed in 2013. The facility began initial operations in September of 2016, destroying its first-ever chemical weapons. The plant has now destroyed more than 1,300 U.S. tons of mustard agent – more than half of the stockpile in Colorado. When operations are complete, the team will have destroyed more than 2,600 tons of mustard agent in three types of chemical weapons: 155mm projectiles, 105mm projectiles, and 4.2-inch mortar rounds.

The Bechtel Pueblo Team, which includes Bechtel, URS, Battelle Memorial Institute, and Parsons Infrastructure and Technology, won the competition in 2002 to design, build, test, operate, and ultimately close PCAPP after destroying the stockpile. The U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA) oversees the destruction of the Pueblo chemical weapons stockpile.

Bechtel is also building the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Richmond, Kentucky.

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