Project Location:

Bagram Airfield (BAF), Afghanistan


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – Philadelphia District

Client Needs and Requirements:

The U.S. Military required a permanent power station to replace the existing small rental power plant and the small ‘spot’ generators located at a majority of the facilities on the base.  The initial requirement was for a power station that could delivery 30MW output during the hotest temperatures of summer and at the elevation of nearly one mile above sea level.  Additionally, the design had to perform on JP-8 and TS-1 fuels (aircraft jet fuel). Phase II expanded the requirement to 50MW continuous and Phase III expanded to 56MW continuous.

The initial Phase I design and build focused on two 16.5MW Solar Turbines Titan 130 turbines and ten 1.5MW Cummins reciprocating generators. Phase II added two additional Solar Turbines Titan 130 turbines, and Phase III added one Solar Turbines Taurus 60 Turbine (5.7MW).  The total installed capacity at ISO conditions is 87MW.

The contract included the conceptual design, detailed design, production, logistics, transportation, installation, and commissioning of this power plant.  

Challenges and ISI’s Response:

Logistics proved to be a major challenge for this project. The Titan T-130 turbines were too large to fit on a typical cargo plane and had previously only been transported over land routes when traveling in landlocked countries.  However, due to the location far inside of Afghanistan there were no road routes available to safely move this equipment.

ISI solved this by chartering multiple Antonov AN-124 cargo planes, one of the largest planes in the world, to deliver the equipment straight to BAF. We then custom designed the turbines to meet height requirements, and re-engineered the planes cargo securing methodology to solve weight and distribution issues.

The Results:

The power plant was commissioned on schedule, and the construction phase was completed within budget. ISI received all “Excellent” ratings on the Client’s post project review for this contract.

The Details:

The entire plant operations and control system was custom designed and implemented by the ISI team. All designs were approved by USACE – Philadelphia District.

  • Source one was four Solar Turbine T-130 units derated to 10.5MW each, and one Solar Turbine T-70 unit derated to 5MW.
  • Source two was ten reciprocating generators derated to 1MW each.
  • The output of all of the units was connected at 13.8kV to a 100MW rated MV distribution switchgear for connection to existing 13.8kV MV feeders.
  • The general construction for this project involved extensive site preparation. A significant amount of soil was removed prior to compacting and leveling the site.
  • ISI unitized local subcontractors to place rebar and lay massive structural foundations for the turbines.
  • Final design encompassed storage capacity of 396,000 gallons on site, with a connection to the base main fuel supply line.
  • In addition to managing all contract activities, we also created Safety Control plans and Quality Assurance plans.