The draft appears on the US government’s Federal Business Opportunities website to elicit contractors’ comments.

The draft RFP outlines the scope of the second-phase infrastructure reconstruction programme. About 80 per cent of the project cost – $1,200 million – is allocated for the rehabilitation of electrical systems, potable water systems and sewage treatment services. Eighteen per cent – $270 million – is pencilled in against the reconstruction of surface transportation, public buildings, ports, waterways and airports. The remaining $30 million is to be spent on institutional strengthening.

The duration of the contract is not defined although the contractor will be required to develop a 12-month implementation plan within the first month of the contract. This has to be updated quarterly. The plan is to be based on assessments carried out by the existing infrastructure contractor Bechtel, and the implementation plan developed by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).

Bidding for the contract will be limited to US contractors only (MEED 19:9:03).

Projects identified in the draft RFP include:

Electrical power systems:reconstruction and extension of distribution networks; installation of small generating units of 1 MW-10 MW to assist industrial plants; and installation of medium-sized power stations including 25-MW and 15-MW units.

Potable water systems:construction of a new 50 million gallons-a-day (g/d) water treatment plant; replacement of mechanical and electrical equipment at a water treatment plant; and training of staff for sustainable operation and maintenance.

Wastewater treatment systems: refurbishment of wastewater treatment plants; and training of staff for sustainable operations.

Surface transportation: repair of a suspension bridge; repair of a highway bridge; and installation of a train control system.

Buildings: repair of priority wards at 22 hospitals; construction of up to 1,000 new schools of 10-15 rooms each.

Ports, waterways and airports: restoration of gantry cranes and channel dredging at Umm Qasr port; repair of Iraqi suction-hopper dredgers; and supply of avionics equipment at airports.

Institutional strengthening: technical support to Iraqi ministries; and training of staff for sustainable operation and maintenance of infrastructure.

The document also instructs contractors to use local subcontractors ‘to the maximum practicable extent’. In order to ensure a minimum target of 10 per cent of the work goes to local small businesses, USAID will pay a bonus for the use of ‘small disadvantaged businesses in Iraq’.