September 23, 2003
Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Program Update
The immediate mission of the Airports program is to restore critical infrastructure at Baghdad (BIA) and Basrah (BSR) international airports to support opening of the airports for limited, international, commercial flights operating under daytime visual meteorological conditions (VMC).
Bridge and Road Infrastructure
Bechtel is reconstructing three bridges in Iraq: Khazir Bridge, located between the northern cities of Mosul and Arbil; Al Mat Bridge near the Ar Rutbah village in western Iraq; and Tikrit Bridge over the Tigris River. All three bridges sustained damage in the recent conflict.
Buildings and Facilities Infrastructure
The buildings and facilities program will rehabilitate schools, primary health care clinics, and selected fire stations in Iraq. These facilities have suffered from looting and vandalism, as well as years of neglect.
Upon Bechtel's entry to Iraq in mid-May 2003, we found the Port of Umm Qasr―consisting of the Old Port, New Port, and grain facility―in a rundown condition with no commercial water or water supply. Our mission was to perform rehabilitation works and open Umm Qasr port to receive humanitarian aid shipments. Major activities were to dredge the silted-up New Port so it could accommodate larger ships and return the inactive grain facility to operation.
The Power program consists of reconstructing, repairing, rehabilitating, and upgrading Iraq's power system. This includes generation, transmission, and distribution; communications and control; and institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Electricity (MOE). The program will be executed by directly procuring needed parts and other materials, managing subcontracts, assigning engineers to support the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) ministerial advisory functions, and providing extensive program management oversight services.
Bechtel and Iraqi Republic Railways (IRR) are jointly constructing a new European-standard rail line in the Basrah region to improve freight transport service from the Port of Umm Qasr to the rest of the country. The single-track line has not been upgraded since the 1950s and causes derailments, accidents, and delays to the existing rail service. By working jointly with IRR, Bechtel's rail program will leverage in-country resources to expedite the work as well as offer training to IRR personnel in current industry practices.
The larger telephone exchanges within Baghdad, as well as the critical national fiber optic backbone connecting Iraqi cities to the Baghdad area network, were damaged in the recent conflict. Bechtel's role in the reconstruction program is to restore connectivity to telephone subscribers in the Baghdad area, and to restore the fiber backbone to pre-conflict functionality.
The mission of the Water and Wastewater program is to restore water and sanitation systems in Iraq to ensure a reliable supply of potable water to the general public. Both water and sanitation systems are designed to protect public health; but after many years of outdated operating practices and inadequate maintenance, rehabilitation of these facilities to their original capacities has become an urgent need.
Acquisition Services Group
To date, 140 days from award, Bechtel has committed $146 million in compliance with U.S. Government regulations, in a transparent process, to qualified firms worldwide, while contributing to the strengthening of Iraq's basic industries and institutions.