• The Turkish Dogan Bey power ship sits moored in the southern port of Umm Qasr.  The ship provides enough power to run a small Iraqi city.  Currently, it feeds into the main Iraqi power grid.

    Power on the water

    The Turkish Dogan Bey power ship sits moored in the southern port of Umm Qasr. The ship provides enough power to run a small Iraqi city. Currently, it feeds into the main Iraqi power grid.

  • Coast Guard Lt. Matthey Spolarich and Mutlu Cevlik tour the power-generating ship.  Spolarich is working around the ports of Iraq to help improve their security and get them up to international standards.

    Power on the water

    Coast Guard Lt. Matthey Spolarich and Mutlu Cevlik tour the power-generating ship. Spolarich is working around the ports of Iraq to help improve their security and get them up to international standards.

  • Turkish workers run fuel hoses across the deck of the Dogan Bey power ship to keep the generators filled and pumping to capacity.

    Power on the water

    Turkish workers run fuel hoses across the deck of the Dogan Bey power ship to keep the generators filled and pumping to capacity.

The Government of Iraq has been concentrating on providing basic necessities to its people while striving to maintain order and security.

Electricity has been an issue Iraqis are concerned about. In the southern city of Basra and throughout Iraq demonstrations have been held demanding more reliable power.

In response, steps are in place to help ease the power problems.

In the southern port of Umm Qasr, the hub of imports and exports for the country, a large ship sits moored to the docks. It is adorned with Turkish and Iraqi flags painted on the side, and large transformers cover the majority of the deck.

"It's like an on-land power facility," said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Frank Bullock, a logistic coordinator with the Joint Interagency Task Force. Reciprocating generators on the deck of the ship use a refined fuel provided by the Iraqi Department of Energy. The electricity is run to the Iraqi power grid. This ship alone has the ability to power Umm Qasr with some left over, he said.

"So far, we have had no security incidents," said the plant manager and ship captain, Mutlu Cevlik, a Turkish sailor from Istanbul. A five-year contract has been signed with the Iraqi Department of Energy for the ship to provide power, he said. A second ship has also been dispatched from Turkey.

Security cameras and local guards have been hired to help secure the ship, Cevlik said. Around 70 people from Umm Qasr keep the ship safe 24 hours a day. Onboard, Turkish workers keep the generators maintained and running.

"Sand storms are the biggest problem," Cevlik said. The generators operate as close to full capacity as possible, but during periods of high wind, sand and dirt get caught in the filters causing overheating and automatic shutdowns.

Cevlick is confident issues like these will be easy to get around. The next step is to hire a security officer to help bring the ship up to international safety standards.

"We want to make this environment better," Cevlick said.

Page last updated Wed August 11th, 2010 at 03:22