Bechtel/USAID Work Continues in Iraq

Apr 23, 2004, 01:00 ET from Bechtel

    SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent security developments in
 Iraq have raised many questions about the impact on our work for USAID to
 repair vital elements of the country's infrastructure.
     We are working on approximately 50 projects.  Work is continuing at
 roughly 90% of our work sites.  The remaining few sites have experienced
 temporary interruptions of work.
     Our overall timetable has not been impacted, and we fully expect to
 complete our work under both contracts. The initial contract's work runs
 through the end of December 2004; the Iraq II work runs through the end of
 December 2005.
     From the start of our contract, we have continually moved personnel among
 offices in Jordan and Kuwait, and our five locations in Iraq, depending on
 where they are needed or are most effective.
     To the extent circumstances advance or impede our work, we shift people
 accordingly.  Personnel movements are based on:
     -- The requirements and schedule of the work at any given point in time.
     -- Business efficiency -- performing as much of the back-office work as
        possible outside of Iraq (e.g., contract administration, procurement,
     -- Security -- the safety of our employees is of paramount importance and
        we take appropriate and prudent steps to protect Bechtel personnel at
        all times.
     We have 106 years of experience working in difficult and challenging
 environments -- it's what we do and why we get hired.  In the construction
 business, unanticipated changes happen all the time. The working environment
 constantly changes, and we remain flexible so we can effectively respond. For
 instance, we keep to our schedule by reordering our processes, shifting the
 sequence of our work, and changing locations.  Security is just one additional
 dimension that requires us to remain flexible to ensure we keep our projects
 moving forward and performing well.
     Background on Bechtel's Contracts
     -- We have two contracts with USAID.
     -- Our initial Iraq reconstruction contract, awarded on April 17, 2003,
        extends through December 31, 2004.
     -- Our Iraq Infrastructure II contract, awarded on January 6, 2004,
        extends through December 31, 2005.
     -- Our initial task under our first contract was to perform an assessment
        of Iraq's infrastructure and submit a recommended implementation plan
        to USAID, so that our customer could prioritize the projects it wanted
        us to undertake.
     -- Given the limited amount of funding in our initial contract -- $680
        million v. $16 billion in identified needs -- setting priorities was
     -- The work that Bechtel performs is determined by USAID and the CPA PMO
        organization and is directed through specific Job Orders.
     -- Bechtel's job is to manage the work, not perform it with our own
        personnel. We identify, hire, and direct the work of more than 100
     -- We are working throughout the country in several infrastructure areas:
         -- power                        -- bridges
         -- water/wastewater             -- airports
         -- telecommunications           -- port
         -- rail

SOURCE Bechtel