Bechtel Group Inc. confirmed Friday that it was moving one of the company's biggest divisions to Maryland to be closer to a major customer: the U.S. government.
Bechtel National, the company's unit that is overseeing a $3-billion job to rebuild war-torn Iraq, is relocating from San Francisco to Frederick, Md., about 50 miles from Washington.
"When the business is coming from the federal government, it makes sense to be near the federal government," Bechtel spokesman Jonathan Marshall said.
The move, scheduled to be completed this year, is expected to eliminate several hundred jobs in San Francisco, where Bechtel's corporate headquarters will remain.
Bechtel hopes to find new jobs for the employees whose positions are cut, Marshall said.
The move continues to diminish Bechtel's presence in San Francisco, where the company was founded nearly 100 years ago. By the end of 2006, only one of the firm's eight business units, a finance division, will remain in San Francisco in its entirety.