Salt Lake-based TerraTek said it will will help design and build a rock-drilling simulation and research laboratory in Japan similar to its own lab at Research Park.

The laboratory will simulate various land formations from around the world so Japan National Oil Corp., an oil exploration company in Tokyo, can test different drill bits."It's the largest contract we've ever had," said Sidney J. Green, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We believe this is an opportunity to further expand in the international arena."

Most of the manufacturing and construction for the Tokyo laboratory under the $7.5 million contract will be performed by Japan Steel Works, with TerraTek's portion amounting to $2 million to $3 million.

TerraTek was the outgrowth of the University of Utah's Innovations Center, one of four centers in the United States that received grants from the National Science Foundation to help scientists turn their research into marketable products.