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US Army Corps of Engineers will improve electrical distribution in Helmand province

July 6, 2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts combined their resources to award a critically important project for providing reliable electric power from the Kajaki Dam power house on the Helmand River through the Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan.

On June 22, the Middle East district awarded a $93.6 million contract for the project - known as Helmand substations and transmission lines - to Perini Management Services Inc. of Framingham, Mass. The Afghanistan Engineer District-South will oversee the work from its headquarters on Kandahar Airfield.

The substations and transmissions lines project is part of a much larger initiative to support major improvements planned under the South East Power System, according to Jim Murray, SEPS project manager, South District.

"The Kajaki Dam power house generates electricity that flows through the Helmand and Kandahar provinces to Kandahar City," Murray said. "Under SEPS, USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development] will install a third turbine at the Kajaki power house to supplement the two turbines already in operation. To prepare for the additional power that will be generated, the transmission system must be upgraded."

The Kajaki Dam power house was built by USAID in the 1970s and has long been recognized as the source for sustainable and renewable power for Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Because the entire electrical system has largely been neglected due to decades of war, Afghan and U.S. agencies are partnering to increase power generation and distribution to solve the severe lack of electricity in this region.

Bringing more power to southern Afghanistan supports the Afghan government

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