By A. Al BharaniJanuary 2, 2008
BASRAH, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 2, 2008) - Army engineers continued their mission of helping the Government of Iraq jump-start its electrical infrastructure by completing three power projects in the Gulf Region South district.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turned three 132kV electrical substations over to Iraqi authorities in the Basrah Province, according to Tom Eidson, head of engineering and construction at GRS.
The Iraqi people currently are enjoying more electricity than at any time in the past, Mr. Eidson said. As more and more electrical projects come to completion, he said, the Iraqi people have more electrical power available for greater lengths of time and, thus, enjoy a higher standard of living.
"These 132kV substation facilities (Al-Toba, Al-Hammar and Al-Gurnah) help correct distribution problems in the system by relieving overload on transformers and switchgears," said Engineer Firas, the project engineer with the Basrah Area Office.
Mr. Eidson said the power is not only being made available for personal use, but also for commercial and industrial use, which will strengthen and broaden the economic foundation of Iraq.
"Al-Toba 132kV substation project will provide the electricity to support the Toba tank oil transfer and storage facility, which is the backbone of the oil conveyance system for the Rumayla oil field," Mr. Eidson said. "The economy of Iraq is based largely on revenues from the marketing of its oil products. This facility is critical to getting Iraq oil to the world oil market."
The rehabilitation project at Al-Hammar 132kV substation is a critical element of the Al-Hammar and Hammar-Mishrif gas/oil separation facilities and will help provide the Basrah International Airport and the Sweet Water Facility with a more reliable and secure transmission network, Mr. Firas said.
Al-Gurnah 132kV substation project will improve reliability and safety standards for the electrical distribution network, reduce electrical outages, and supply electricity to a population of approximately 80,000 people, he added.
"Work consisted at Al-Toba and Al-Hammar substations of general maintenance, replacement of the damaged transformers and switch gears, and cosmetic improvements," Mr. Firas said. "While the equipment used in the Al-Gurnah project includes two, 63 megavolt transformers, a building control room, a high voltage switch gear room, a protection fence and a guard house.
"All the substations were manual and using the 1983 technology. but now they are computerized and using the 2005 technology," the engineer added.
(A. Al Bahrani is a public affairs specialist with the Gulf Region South district, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iraq.)