2003 April 18 Friday
Why Baghdad Electric Power Off For So Long

If you want to know why the electricity has been off for so long in Baghdad then go read all these articles. The power plants have not been hit and are all functional. The natural gas pipeline flow from Kirkuk was interrupted but no one seems to know why. The distribution grid is rickety in the best of times and was inadvertently damaged in the bombing. But it is hard to turn the power back on because nobody seems to know why it went off in the first place.

U.S. military officials have insisted that coalition forces did not knowingly bomb any significant part of Iraq's electrical infrastructure. Matti said no other plant directors in Baghdad have reported taking a direct hit, but he said they reported that the bombing campaign had damaged the country's highly sensitive transmission grid.

It is possible that Saddam's regime ordered it turned off or possibly the distribution grid collapsed. It seems surprising that at this point the cause of of the outage should remain a mystery.

Another story adds support for the theory that cuts in the natural gas pipeline are the main cause of the power outage.

Janan Behnam, chief engineer of Baghdad's key power plant, says he knows nothing of any shutdown order. The problem, he and others at the south Baghdad plant say, was breaks in the lines that supply fuel to the plant.

They need a large surge of electric power into some of the Baghdad plants to activate them.

The military Friday plans to fly Iraqi engineers by helicopter along the transmission lines that run from Kirkuk. They will inspect the lines with the idea using the Kirkuk power to jump-start the Baghdad plants.

While the biggest power plant in Baghdad may be on within a day it may take as long as 10 days for power to return to all parts of the city.

Yesterday, Iraqi electrical workers said they hoped to have the city's biggest power plant going by tomorrow, or even today -- allowing the plant, in turn, to kick start the country's largest power plant, to the south.

Sounds like the power will be on in some parts of the city this weekend. This will also return water to many parts of the city since it is the lack of electricity to run water pumping stations that is keeping the water supply turned off.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 April 18 03:28 PM  Reconstruction and Reformation


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