Montgomery Watson, part of the US’ MWH, has been awarded the consultancy contract for the construction of the Basora dam near Sulaimaniyah. Under the agreement, MWH will prepare detailed technical and geological studies on the estimated $40 million project (MEED 9:12:05).

The study is due to be completed by August and is part of an overall plan to rebuild the country’s dam infrastructure to improve irrigation and increase power generating capacity. ‘We have had our budget approved and have decided to move ahead with our plans despite the political situation,’ says a source at the Water Resources Ministry.

The ministry has completed its final report for the construction of its biggest project, the estimated $2,100 million completion of Bekhme dam located on the Greater Zab river in Irbil province. Serbia-based ITSC, which carried out the environmental impact assessment on the project, has been retained to prepare alternative options for the project’s construction.

The ministry has decided to speed up the design process in a bid to kick-start the dam programme. However, funding remains the main issue. ‘We are submitting in the next few days a financial strategic study to the Finance Ministry with various options on how to finance Bekhme, but we will need to invite financial advisers to move ahead,’ says the source.