Iraq's future is a 168 megawatt brighter today as the Ministry of Electricity and the Emirati firm Uruk Engineering & Contracting announced that the Taji Power Plant Project is now online and operational. The Ministry of Electricity had launched a "fast track" program for its power generation projects following the announcement; and the Taji development is the first "fast track" project to have been completed, aided by the ministry's commitment to facilitate the steps needed to accomplish this task.
Uruk stayed true to its mission less than two years after being awarded the project. It is the first Iraqi-managed firm to bring a power plant online since the program was announced. The company's leadership took an active role in helping move the project forward by empowering staff to take decisions quickly.
"We believe in our people and in their ability to get the job done," said Khaled Jamil, a senior director in the company. "Electricity is a basic need today; and our staff should be able to make decisions in a timely manner so we can meet our obligations to the government and to the Iraqi people."
The 600-strong team of Iraqi nationals, several of whom came to work on the project from across the globe, built the plant on an area of 50,000 square meters, a unique feat given that utilities projects often require a at least twice this size.
"The plant is a marvellous achievement not only because of the short time it took to deliver, but also because of the advanced technologies we used to ensure the Iraqi power grid is as good as any you will find abroad," said Yahyia N. Nsayef, Director-General Uruk Iraq. "One example is the D.C.S., the central nervous system of the plant. It allows complete control and monitoring of the plant from one room. Taji is the first to include this system; and all future projects will adopt the same approach."
Raed Muhammad Saleh, Taji's Project Manager for Uruk, added that the plant's completion is a model for similar endeavors in the future; and that it is a source of pride for the Ministry of Electricity, all participants in the project and for the Iraqi people as a whole.
The Taji plant will provide electricity for up to 50,000 homes; and it is just the first in a series of initiatives the government has undertaken to improve the utilities infrastructure in the country. The Minister of Electricity, the deputy minister and other government departments ensured that typically lengthy procedures were eased such as customs clearance and visa issuance.
The contract had covered the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) works at the dual fuel plant - capable of running on light, distilled oil or natural gas - which uses 4xFrame6B Gas Turbine-Generators (GTGs) that the MoE procured from General Electric (GE).