"In developing our implementation plan, we performed analyses of each sector, which enabled us to carefully plan the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver the best results to the Iraqi people," explains Cliff Mumm, Bechtel program director for the Iraq infrastructure project.
With 160 people in four office camps throughout Iraq, including its central program office in Baghdad, Bechtel and a growing number of subcontractors continue to make progress throughout various parts of the country's infrastructure.
Port of Umm Qasr
The operation has dredged 3.4 million cubic meters (4.4 million cubic yards). Removal of unexploded ordnance and sunken vessels, along with installation of emergency generators, is also ongoing.
USAID has approved job orders for work including repair, restoration, and reconstruction of electrical systems to help restore power to essential buildings. USAID also approved work to refurbish and repair the port's administration building.
The grain facility rehabilitation project is ahead of schedule. Bechtel's work has included repair of electrical systems, such as restarting original 2.5-megawatt diesel generators and energizing grain silo systems. In addition to work to put the silos back in service, cleaning continues in preparation for receiving bulk grain.
One of the facility's conveyors is now capable of off-loading and processing roughly 350 tonnes (386 tons) of grain per hour and transferring it to the silo, which has a storage capacity of 30,000 tonnes (33,000 tons). Once the facility is restored to full capacity, it will be capable of off-loading and processing approximately 60,000 tonnes (66,000 tons) of grain per hour and will employ 300 workers.
Working closely with the U.S. military and others, Bechtel has helped complete infrastructure repairs at Baghdad International Airport to support opening for commercial air operations. The work included constructing temporary terminal areas, providing emergency power, repairing sanitation facilities, and providing communications capabilities.
At Basrah International Airport, Bechtel has completed detailed field inspections.
Schools and clinics
The U.S. government, with the assistance of Bechtel engineers and construction experts, will rehabilitate approximately 1,330 schools and clinics and 15 fire stations. Last week, work on a number of the schools was completed, and a goal has been set for completion of 1,000 schools by the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year.
In southern Iraq, 3 schools have been completed and 46 others are undergoing rehabilitation. In the north, 3 contracts have been developed to cover work on 19 schools. In Baghdad, work on 53 schools is under way, and in Iraq's central region, 40 schools are undergoing rehabilitation.
Bridges, roads, and rail
USAID and Bechtel have coordinated with the Iraqi Ministry of Civil Works to prioritize, assess, and assign responsibility for repair of bridges. USAID has approved two job orders for Al-Khazir and Al-Mat bridges. Both bridges will be reconstructed.
Demolition of a partially collapsed bridge blocking Iraq's key Highway 10 concluded last week, within schedule.
In the rail sector, rehabilitation efforts are now focused in Basrah. Rail team management has held a kickoff meeting with USAID, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Iraq Republic Railway (IRR) representatives in Basrah to present the work background, scope, division of responsibilities, and execution approach.
USAID has approved a job order to replace 50-year-old track with 72 kilometers (48 miles) of new track in the Port of Umm Qasr, up to the main line near Basrah. The work, scheduled to take one year, will be executed as an integrated project between Bechtel and the IRR. Iraqi contractors and the IRR will perform all construction work.
Water, waste, and irrigation
Bechtel is assessing the condition of 34 water treatment plants in Baghdad. The water team has drafted and submitted the design review package for the Kherkh wastewater plant and hired two Iraqi engineers to help develop repair subcontract scope and assist with subcontractor oversight. Also, Bechtel has received approval of job orders for the Saba Nissan Water Plant expansion and rehabilitation of lift stations in the Iraqi capital.
On the Safwan water project in southern Iraq, the underground reservoir has been completed, the pumping station is 70 percent finished, and the chlorinator room is 40 percent completed. The project has logged 2,300 job hours without a lost-time incident.
In Basrah, Bechtel power and water teams are continuing the installation of emergency power generators for the main water treatment and pumping plants. The water team completed the installation and commissioning of five temporary emergency backup generators at three key sites. Plant operators are now trained to operate the generators, identify faults, and call for problem resolution. Once the sixth generator is commissioned, the city will have more than 7,000 kilovolts available to help maximize the flow of water during planned power reduction periods.
Bechtel intends to subcontract roughly 90 percent of its infrastructure project work. As of August 17, Bechtel had awarded 75 subcontracts, and 41 of those have gone to Iraqi companies.
"The priority is to ensure the maximum participation of Iraqis," says Mumm. "Iraq has a talented and skilled workforce, and it is important to hire Iraqis to help get the country's economy moving again."
Bechtel continues to meet with the Iraqi Federation of Contractors to explain the company's contracting processes, encourage participation by Iraqi companies, and provide them with training.
To date, more than 9,100 companies from 96 countries have registered on Bechtel's supplier database.