IRVINE — Fluor Daniel, the engineering and construction arm of Fluor Corp., said Monday that it has been awarded a contract with an estimated value of $300 million to build a combined gas- and steam-fired power plant in Virginia.
Under the contract from Doswell L.P., a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Diamond Energy Inc., Fluor would build a 663-megawatt power plant in Hanover County, Va. Fluor said the plant would be the largest of its kind in the United States not operated by a government-regulated utility.
Construction of the plant began this month and is expected to be completed in April, 1992, Fluor said. Diamond Energy, a subsidiary of Japan's Mitsubishi Corp., has built privately operated power plants in California, Texas and New York.
Mark Stevens, a Fluor Daniel marketing director, said the Virginia project is the second-largest contract for power plant construction that Fluor has landed in recent years. The company was awarded a $500-million pact in 1987 to build a 1,350-megawatt project in Midland, Mich.
Stevens said Fluor expects the Diamond contract will help the company take advantage of an upturn in power plant construction. "I think this will open quite a few doors with regard to large power projects," he said.
Fluor executives and some industry analysts say growing demand for electricity is finally depleting a surplus of power plant capacity that has existed since the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
"The power industry is starting to revive, and this is a good example. There is more to come," Robert W. McCoy Jr., an analyst with UBS Securities Inc. of New York, said of Fluor's new contract.
McCoy said the worldwide resurgence in power plant construction is expected to continue for several years.
He estimated that in the United States alone, $75 billion will be spent on power plant construction through 1995.