The San Francisco-based firm won a $680-million, 21-month construction contract on April 17 from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Bechtel project chief Terry Valenzano and other key managers are expected to arrive in Kuwait this weekend, a Bechtel spokesman said on April 23. Before heading for Baghdad or other Iraqi cities, the Bechtel managers must go through security and safety training conducted by USAID and Dept. of Defense personnel.

Bechtel’s port engineer arrived in Umm Qasr April 23 and is assessing damage to the port, which is at the top of USAID’s rehabilitation priorities. Bringing the port back into operation also will help ease food distribution and other humanitarian relief as supplies are shipped in, particularly food milling equipment, says the Bechtel spokesman.

A survey ship and a dredge are on their way, says spokesman Howard N. Menaker. The survey ship will test the port depth and soils "and all the technical aspects that tell us where to dredge and how far to dredge," Menaker explains.

Bechtel officials are assembling generators and other construction equipment to bring into the region. Some will be moved from other Bechtel locations and others may be obtained from subcontractors. It is still too early to know how much equipment will be needed, Menaker adds.

fficials from Bechtel National Inc. are making progress sending workers and equipment into Iraq to help rebuild the war-torn country.