Dam in Iraq at Full Operation for First Time Since 1990
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jun. 11, 2004 With the completion of new transmission projects and the rehabilitation of a turbine unit at Haditha Dam in Haditha, Iraq last week, for the first time since 1990 all six turbines were in full operation and the clean hydropower plant operated at full capacity, generating 660 megawatts.
"The incredible progress at Haditha is just one example of the huge strides made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners to increase the overall capacity of the Iraqi power system," said Army Maj. Gen. Ronald L. Johnson, commander of the corps' Gulf Region Division. "Roland Shumate, our quality assurance rep on site, working in close coordination with Iraqi engineers and plant personnel, and our contractor, CH2MHill, have quickly restored a capability at Haditha that had long been neglected during the regime of Saddam Hussein."
Johnson said work will continue as the plant personnel are trained to operate and maintain the new equipment, switchgear and controls. "In some cases, these technologies represent advances and efficiencies enjoyed by those in the free world for the last 30 years, but not seen before in Iraq," said Johnson.
The $12 million project, administered by CH2MHill, and overseen by the Corps of Engineers in support of the CPA and its Program Management Office, began Feb. 6. At times it has employed more than 100 local Iraqi workers, including those who had worked previously at the dam.
Previous projects at Haditha included the restoration of transmission lines, under contract with Washington Group International to link the hydropower dam to the Iraqi power grid. Combined, an additional 460 megawatts of capacity has been added to the overall national grid due to the efforts of this partnering team, according to Robert Goss, project manager for the Restore Iraqi Electricity Directorate for the Corps of Engineers.
"Everyone involved with this project did an outstanding job," said Col. C. Kevin Williams, commander of the corps' Central District, who executed the project. "From the contractor, the plant personnel, our quality assurance guys, and the Marine and Azerbaijani security forces on the ground - it was a tremendous team effort."
Stateside Corps of Engineers expertise also was used to facilitate the shipment of necessary parts and to provide technical assistance on site, said Williams. Video teleconferencing systems and state-of-the-art engineering tools allowed a virtual engineering team to assist those living at the project site, working around the clock, to restore the plant and provide added capacity to the national grid.
As part of a nationwide effort, in part, by the Restore Iraqi Electricity Directorate of the Gulf Region Division, Army engineers, soldiers and civilians are working nonstop with contractors and Iraqi workers to restore the dilapidated power infrastructure and improve the quality of life for all of Iraq by increasing the available electricity, officials said.
Repairing damages from more than 30 years of neglect under Saddam, Corps of Engineers teams are restoring transmission lines, improving or replacing switching facilities and building or restoring more than two dozen power generation projects to produce a capacity never before seen in Iraq.
(Courtesy of the Coalition Provisional Authority.)