The initial immediate award for emergency infrastructure repair and rehabilitation of war-torn Iraq, announced April 17, will be for $34.6 million. Additional funding for the full contract value of $680 million is subject to congressional authority and availability.

In addition to the emergency reconstruction, the contract also calls for assessment and repair of power generation facilities, electrical grids, municipal water systems and sewage systems. There is also a provision for the rehabilitation or repair of airport facilities and the dredging, repair and upgrading of Umm Qasr seaport.

USAID says it expects Bechtel to work through subcontractors on a number of these tasks after it identifies specific needs. "Through all of its activities, it will also engage the Iraqi population and work to build local capacity," according to a USAID statement.

Bechtel National President Tom Hash says the firm is "honored to have been selected through a competitive process" to provide humanitarian assistance, economic recovery and infrastructure work. Details of when the firm will begin to mobilize have yet to be decided.

he U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a capital construction contract for initial rebuilding of Iraq, worth up to $680 million over 21 months, to Bechtel National Inc., San Francisco.