Founded in 1889 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, today’s CB&I is the most complete energy infrastructure focused company in the world and major provider of government services.

Early Years

While initially involved in bridge design and construction, we turned our 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 U.S. Southwest. CB&I quickly became known for our excellent design engineering and field construction of elevated water storage tanks, aboveground tanks for storage of petroleum and refined products, refinery process vessels and other steel plate structures.

We supported the expansion of oil exploration outside the U.S., starting operations in South America in 1924, in Asia two years later, and in the Middle East in 1939. Our ability to execute projects anywhere in the world, using our own integrated resources, became (and remains) a CB&I hallmark.

Innovations and Milestones

During the course of our history, we have developed many innovative technologies and achieved a number of industry milestones, including the first floating-roof tank for the oil industry (1923), the first spherical pressure vessel (1923), the first double-wall LNG storage tank (1958), the first site-assembled thick wall steel nuclear reactor vessel (1966), the first marine LNG storage and distribution terminal in the U.S. (1971), the world’s largest steel water reservoir (1986) and the world’s largest vacuum distillation tower (1999), to name just a few.

Today’s Chicago Bridge & Iron

In late 2000, CB&I embarked on a series of acquisitions that have dramatically expanded our capabilities and services. With our most recent acquisition of The Shaw Group in February 2013, we have created one of the world’s largest engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies focused on the global energy industry. Shaw’s position as a leading provider of EPC services to the energy sector with a focus on power generation complements CB&I’s standing as a builder of energy infrastructure projects for the hydrocarbon sector.

The resultant company of approximately 55,000 employees can provide clients with a total solutions package across the entire energy spectrum, from proprietary technology and related catalysts to front end engineering and design (FEED), EPC and construction management services, commissioning and aftermarket support. In addition, CB&I provides environmental services for government and commercial clients worldwide. And we design and construct infrastructure and civil works projects for government and private-sector clients.”

In May 2018 the company merged into McDermott International.