Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Monday, April 03, 2006

Good News Story....Electricity in Iraq

Susan Fournier, grandmother of 15, posts from Iraq, where she is stationed with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers. We don't find many positive stories from Iraq but Susan blogs much of the promising projects around the country. Here are portions of her most recent writing about Iraq electricity and the positive side effects.
The Khor Az Zubayr Power Plant which is now officially operating under the Ministry of Electricity and the Basrah Province Director General for Electricity. The plant is providing 250 additional megawatts of power generation to the Iraqi national power grid. Construction started at the power plant in December of 2004 and was completed, on schedule, one year later. Training for local Iraqi plant operators has been ongoing and finally concluded at the end of last month. The two new 125 megawatt generators adds 5% more power to the national grid and doubles the power being produced at the existing plant with four older units. The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the new power generation but we also rehabilitated the four older generators right after the conflict ended and these four generators have been producing steady power to the national grid since that time. More than 500 local Iraqi workers were employed at the construction site to help in assembling the generators, laying foundations and constructing support facilities. The construction and trade jobs provided income to hundreds of families and boosted the local economy through local contracts, procurement of materials and services. The idea is not just to construct a project, but to get money into the local economy, especially into the hands of families who need the income. Additional electric projects are ongoing in Iraq, because power generation, transmission, distribution and control systems were almost all in need of maintenance, repair or replacement when Coalition forces arrived here three years ago. Iraq’s power system has not had any real investment for several decades. Although electricity is still not 24/7, many more families are now getting electricity than ever before and not just those who live in Baghdad. The US Army Corps of Engineers has 23 power generation projects; 43 power transmission projects; 350 power distribution projects and six power control projects using Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Funds. Approximately two thirds of these projects are completed at this time. The second thing you don’t hear is that the Iraqi consumer now has buying power. Iraqis have disposable incomes and they are buying many electrical appliances, televisions, satellite dishes and a host of other conveniences that they never had access to in the past. While this has doubled or tripled the demand for electricity, I like to refer to this consumerism as a taste of freedom, freedom to purchase, freedom to get information and freedom to make your own decisions in life. Moreover, I think freedom it is working here in Iraq.
Susan's full story and blog reside at Grandma in Iraq

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