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Task Force Assists Iraqis with Municipal Power

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080609-08
Release Date: 6/9/2008 11:19:00 AM

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Boucher, Task Force Ramadi Public Affairs

CAMP RAMADI, Iraq (NNS) -- An U.S. Navy officer with Task Force Ramadi, met with the engineers and operators of three separate Ramadi generator plants, May 28, which could provide electricity for a large number of people in the provincial capital city of Ramadi.

At all three plants, Lt. Cmdr. Doug Kunzman, Task Force Ramadi, found a skeleton staff and generators standing idle.

According to Kunzman, 17 of the 19 plants located throughout Ramadi are fully operational or just need minor repairs.

"The Tameem plant alone has eight generators and the ability to provide power for one-eighth of the population of Ramadi, about ten thousand citizens," Kunzman said. "They have some equipment repairs that need to be done, but the real issue is an increased and steady flow of fuel."

Kunzman explained the city of Ramadi would need approximately 100 megawatts of power to provide electricity to the citizens 24 hours a day. The city currently operates with about 35 megawatts through the national electrical grid. Electricity is available on a rotational basis for about six hours per day with most people living without power for up to 18 hours per day.

"If we can get these three plants up and running, it will add between 16 and 18 megawatts of continuous power to the Ramadi electrical grid," said Kunzman.

For the citizens of Ramadi, that could mean an increase to over nine hours of electricity available per day.

"More importantly it opens the doors of many businesses, schools, government offices and health facilities throughout Ramadi. This creates jobs and moves the economy," he said.

Kunzman is one of several Task Force Ramadi members supporting the Department of State's embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (ePRT) 2 – Ramadi. The ePRTs assist the local governments in building their capacity to govern more effectively and deliver essential services. The ePRT-Ramadi is focusing on strengthening the capacity of the municipal government to transition to Iraqi self-reliance.

Kunzman noted Ramadi is tied to a 10-year plan to bring the national electric grid up to a level that will enable citizens to have access to uninterrupted electrical services.

"The national grid plan is two years behind schedule so we have a gap to fill," he said.

To fill that gap, Kunzman is working with the Ramadi Directors General of electricity and oil to bring the generator plants scattered throughout the city online.

"We will need to use spot generator electricity to fill the gap, and if we can bring these generator plants on line," said Kunzman, "we can double the amount of electricity in Ramadi."

Kunzman outlined a three-phased plan that includes building the capacity to bring in fuel to Al Anbar and quickly distribute it; repairing and improving the electrical grid to support national power as it comes available; and accurately assessing spot generation sources and fuel requirements to provide immediate relief from a lack of national power.

Kunzman recently completed a final inspection of newly installed equipment at the Railway Fuel Platform (RFP) in Ramadi that will double the amount of fuel that can be brought in to the city. Just two months ago, he assisted in bringing the nearby Fuel Distribution Center (FDC) up to increased capacity by helping the Iraqi engineers operate a newly-installed fuel system.

That FDC system supports the on-loading and off-loading of fuel brought in by truck convoys. Completion of both of these projects greatly increased the capacity to move fuel in and out of the city.

"The increase in available fuel has already made a dramatic impact on Ramadi," said Kunzman. "If we can get more fuel and bring these generator plants online, it will improve conditions for everything from the school system to the job market."

Over the next several weeks, Kunzman will continue to meet with generator plant operators and engineers and conduct operational tests.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

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