BCECA is the trade association representing the principal companies in the UK that provide engineering, procurement, construction and project management services to the process industries. 

BCECA’s objectives are to improve public understanding of members’ activities, to provide a focal point for representation of its members’ interests to clients, the UK Government, European Union and international institutions and other interested parties, and to encourage graduates to join the industry and enjoy well rewarded and exciting careers.

Industries Served

Oil & Gas Extraction (Onshore & Offshore): Oil Refining: Petrochemical: Heavy & Fine Chemical: Polymer: Fibre: Pharmaceutical: Power Generation: Pulp & Paper: Coal: Mining & Metallurgical: Industrial Gases: Water: Environmental Engineering: Food: Fertiliser: Agrochemical: Biotechnology: Nuclear: Defence: Infrastructure.

Total project cost allocation

While their core business is in the design project management and construction of process and utility plants, members are also using their project management, engineering and construction expertise on infrastructure and transportation projects, R&D facilities, other manufacturing facilities and defence projects.

Services Provided by Industry

Members undertake any or all of the wide range of activities needed for the successful realisation of process plant projects, i.e. consultancy, (seeking project financing) feasibility studies, basic designs and detailed engineering, procurement, construction, project management, planning and cost control, commissioning, maintenance and training.

The UK Engineering Industry

The UK engineering construction industry is large and diversified by international standards. It employs over 14,000 people on engineering design and project management alone, not including the much larger numbers required for site construction and equipment manufacture. At any time, BCECA members are responsible for projects with a total value of over US$25 billion and achieve over US$6 billion of new business for the UK each year.

Apart from their resources in the UK, all BCECA member companies operate internationally and have affiliated companies in many parts of the world. Statistics collected over the last 40 years have shown that, in every year, between 30% and 70% of the value of new contracts obtained by the UK companies has been for projects to be built outside the UK. As a result, member companies have unrivalled international experience.

Health, Safety and the Environment

Members pay great attention to the health and safety of their own people and their sub-contractors, particularly during the design and on construction sites. They have received many national and international awards for their safety records. They also have extensive experience in undertaking risk assessments of all kinds for clients. They are able to ensure that the best practices are followed in plant design and can assist clients to obtain the operating permits or licenses that may be required by local and national laws.

Similarly, members are assisting clients to deal with environmental problems and the growing amount of related legislation. They can undertake environmental impact assessments for new projects and audits of existing operations. They are developing more environmentally friendly processes, helping to reduce the pollution caused by operating plants and assisting clients with the licensing procedures of regulatory bodies.


All members participate actively in the development of the process technology used by the industries they serve. There are many examples where they are acknowledged world leaders in their field. However, they are also very experienced at taking a client’s or third party process technology and translating it into a successful industrial operation.

Unparalleled experience of design and construction problems in the hostile conditions of the North Sea has led to many engineering and construction innovations. Offshore module design has assisted the development of the pre-assembled unit concept in onshore process plant construction. This permits more of the construction phase to be carried out in the controlled conditions of a manufacturing plant or fabrication yard, thereby reducing the amount of work and the labour force required on site.

Forms of Contract

Members regularly work to many forms of contract (ranging from build own operate (BOO), lump sum turnkey, lump sum FOB, fixed fee to wholly reimbursable) depending on the nature of the project.Some major clients recognise the cost, schedule and quality benefits of alliance and partnering agreements of various kinds and members have substantial experience of these longer term arrangements/incentives. 

These partnering agreements frequently include manufacturers and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to work as part of the whole supply chain management of the project.

Project Finance

Some buyers require project finance to supplement their own funds and BCECA members have many years of successful experience in arranging such facilities using not only their own skills but taking advantage of their ready access to the London financial markets. This experience extends to the utilisation of funds from other countries and the international aid agencies when these may be advantageous and available to a client.