Bechtel expects to reopen Baghdad airport by mid-July
With 87 personnel in offices and camps in Baghdad, Umm Qasr, Basrah and Al-Hillah, the Bechtel Corporation, Washington's prime contractor in Iraq, is progressing with its reconstruction work, according to a company press release.
A priority for the American private contracting giant is the reopening by mid-July of the Baghdad International Airport, which was closed to commercial flights since 1990, under UN sanctions, company executive Tom Elkins told Reuters.
The company is constructing temporary terminal areas, repairing sanitation facilities, beginning to provide communications capabilities and providing emergency power to the Baghdad International Airport. While a series of generators provide 6.5 megawatts of reliable electricity, electrical teams will work to bring in commercial power from outside sources.
Dredging, removal of unexploded ordnance and sunken vessels, and power repair work continue to progress at the port of Umm Qasr. The goal is to accommodate grain-bearing ships by mid-July. In the next two weeks, seven World Food Program vessels with approximately 103,000 tons of rice and bagged wheat flour are scheduled to arrive at the port.
Bridgework also has moved forward, with a focus on the Al-Mat Bridge bypass in western Iraq and bridge-and-pipeline infrastructure southwest of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. In addition, after a partially collapsed bridge on Highway 10 fell on June 14, Bechtel was authorized to mobilize equipment to remove the damaged bridge. Work is under way to unblock the key highway.
A fifth in a series of contractor conferences is being planned for Basrah in mid-July. Bechtel's June 18 contractor conference in Baghdad drew roughly 1,000 attendees. The purpose was to reach out to Iraqi contractors, obtain pre-qualification information from contractors, create realistic expectations and explain the subcontracting process.
To date, more than 7,800 companies from 93 countries have registered on Bechtel's supplier database. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)