Leidos Constructors LLC

Leidos Constructors LLC is part of the Leidos Cos., a group of wholly owned and majority-owned companies in a variety of industries, including biomedical research, imaging, security, petrochemical and healthcare.

The company, formerly named Science Applications International Corp., changed its name to Leidos Inc. last year in connection with the spin-off of its former technical, engineering and enterprise information technology business.

One of Leidos Constructors’ recent projects is a 375,000-ton-per-year ammonia plant and associated facilities in El Dorado, Ark., for El Dorado Chemical Co., a subsidiary of LSB Industries Inc. LSB is a manufacturing, marketing and engineering company whose principal business activities through its subsidiaries are the manufacture and sale of chemical products for agriculture, industrial, mining, quarry and construction, as well as the manufacture and sale of a broad range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning products used in commercial, institutional and residential buildings.

Leidos was awarded the prime contract by LSB to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services, managing the design and construction of the ammonia plant. The single-award, cost-plus, fixed-fee contract has a two-year period of performance and a total contract value of approximately $118 million. Construction of the ammonia plant, which began in November, is expected to cost between $250 million and $300 million and to start up during the first quarter of 2016. It reportedly is being financed through a $425 million debt offering that was completed in 2013.

The LSB plant in El Dorado purchases 220,000 to 250,000 tons per year of ammonia to upgrade to nitric acid and ammonium nitrate. The new plant is designed to produce up to 155,000 tons more annually than the site has usually consumed. Some of this surplus ammonia will be upgraded to other products and some will be sold. The feedstock will be natural gas. Leidos also is building a $120 million nitric acid plant for LSB in El Dorado that is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Nitric Acid Plants

In addition to the ammonia plant. LSB also has awarded Leidos with contracts to provide construction management services for three other facilities to handle nitric acid. The latest three awards are a hybrid of lump-sum and cost-plus components and are collectively valued at $82.7 million. Work will be performed at the El Dorado Chemical Co.

Leidos will provide construction management services for a 360,000-ton-per-year nitric acid plant and a 40,000-ton-per-year nitric acid concentrator plant. It will provide full EPC services for the outside utility support requirements, which include boilers for steam supply and cooling towers for cooling water supply. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

“We look forward to helping LSB expand its nitric acid manufacturing capability,” said James R. Moos, Leidos engineering solutions group president. “Applying our expertise on the construction of the three El Dorado plants in addition to our EPC services for the outside battery limits will help LSB serve its markets more quickly and efficiently.”

Engineering Input

Leidos Constructors maintains a co-located, full-time architectural and engineering staff whose sole focus is to provide leadership for design/build projects. “Leidos provides design/build services that maximize the potential for project success in cost, schedule and quality,” the company says. “We manage all facets of project delivery, from preconstruction services through startup and commissioning.”

Eighty percent of the decisions that influence successful delivery of a project are made during design development, the company says. “Repetitively working in this collaborative environment builds relationships, eliminates barriers of inefficient information exchange and creates a common language between architectural, engineering, estimating, procurement, construction, contracts and other personnel,” the company says. “This results in time efficiencies, development of second- and third-tier understanding of project goals and objectives, and firmly establishes our design/build culture.”

In-house construction professionals address constructability concerns until the design is completed. Continued engagement of the construction professionals as the design progresses also aids in assuring that all design media are well-coordinated, thereby reducing the number of questions that might arise in the field.

Likewise, it is critical to maintain direct engagement of the design professionals as the project progresses in the field. Having direct access to the in-house design professionals during the construction phase helps resolve field issues quickly and appropriately.

The ability to deploy this fully integrated team in this manner gives Leidos the ability to more effectively and directly manage the overall project delivery schedule and costs without sacrificing the quality of the finished facility.

Tailored Approach

Leidos Constructors tailors each project’s close-out, start-up and commissioning processes to support its unique requirements in coordination with clients’ own facilities operations and maintenance teams. This integrated approach that starts with pre-construction activities and continues through the construction phase provides continuity through the entire project delivery process.

Leidos’ preconstruction activities include initial design development, procurement strategy development, estimating and budget development and overall project delivery scheduling. These provide tools for the integrated team to work effectively with the project’s owners to reach this objective. Mitigation strategies then can be initiated and deployed throughout the project.

Leidos’ commissioning and start-up services range from simple operational checks and acceptance tests to complete integration with the owner’s operations and maintenance teams through defined commissioning periods. Leidos verifies that systems of high-performing facilities are installed properly, tested thoroughly and prepared for operation.

The continuity of an integrated team allows Leidos and the customer to consider turnover activities more effectively early in the project delivery process, thereby reducing risks associated with close-out.

Leidos Engineering Services’ customers include commercial, industrial, government, development, oil and gas and utility clients. Its engineering solutions cover the full spectrum of energy, infrastructure and environmental stewardship challenges.

Constructability and Design Reviews

At Leidos, constructability and design reviews verify that projects are buildable, economical and efficient, and that the design also meets the required standards of quality. Constructability improvements can be built into a design early without sacrificing overall project quality by deeply engaging construction professionals in reviews. Design quality reviews check that all appropriate standards are met and that documents are well coordinated before the start of related construction.

Early development of a project’s overall procurement strategy is critical to successful project execution. Leidos’ integrated design/build approach uses in-house design, construction and procurement professionals to collectively develop a procurement strategy that fits a project’s particular needs.

By engaging all of these resources early, all appropriate elements of an effective procurement strategy are considered. The same in-house team members that develop the procurement strategy will be responsible for the implementation of that strategy as the project continues.

Leidos deploys detailed design and construction quality control and assurance programs at all stages of a project. Its quality control programs are based on industry-accepted standards and are tailored to a project’s specific needs and any customer requirements. Its experience in the private and public sectors and on a variety of facility types allows it to immediately deploy the appropriate quality program for the entire design/build project delivery process. 

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