8 November 2005 – An Iraqi power plant that had been out of action for several years has been put back into service, bringing electricity to thousands in north-eastern Ninewa.
The newly refurbished plant will produce enough electric power to serve approximately 49 720 homes or businesses and will add a total of 55 MW to the national grid. Starting in August 2005, work on the plant finished just one month later.
Power stations such as the Ninewa plant had often become inoperable during Saddam Hussein’s reign due to a lack of funding or trained staff to perform required maintenance.
Returning the north-eastern Ninewa plant to operational status meant repairing gas lines and completely refurbishing five gas turbines, including blade replacements, realignment of the generator hook-up and replacement of bearings.
A local Iraqi firm along with the Ministry of Electricity installed the five gas turbines under the original equipment manufacturer’s supervision.
As the gas turbines were small and easy to ship, their initial repair took place in Norway. Security issues prevented the units from being fixed on site, as specially trained repairmen would have had to be brought from outside Iraq and closely guarded against insurgent attacks. This was highlighted when the repaired machines were delivered and the delivery crew were mortared fifteen minutes after they reached the site. Although in this instance, no one was injured and the equipment was undamaged.
Work to restart the Ninewa plant cost approximately $3m and the plant will receive a further $1m worth of spare parts such as valves and computer hardware.