Jul 14, 2006 03:47 UTC
Headed for Iraq
The US Army says its 5-year sole provider LOGCAP contract with Halliburton’s KBR unit will be put up for bids after its current phase ends later this year. According to Army figures, KBR has received orders totaling $17.1 billion since the start of the current LOGCAP 3 contract, including about $15.4 billion in Iraq, for feeding, housing and providing fuel and other services to U.S. troops worldwide.
As DID has noted, KBR has found itself embroiled in controversy over its role, its prices, and audits of its work that have been unable to fully account for millions of dollars of those funds or justify all charges to the Pentagon’s full satisfaction. The firm strongly denies any wrongdoing, and Army Secretary Francis Harvey recently praised their efforts. LOGCAP 4’s new approach clearly acknowledges the controversies spawned, however, and early reports say that it will be very different.
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Jul 14, 2006 00:57 UTC
Reader Lisa Wright tips us to the fact that DARPA is interested in R&D proposals to develop a process that efficiently produces a surrogate for petroleum based military jet fuel (JP-8) from oil-rich crops produced by either agriculture or aquaculture (including but not limited to plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria) and which ultimately can be an affordable alternative to petroleum-derived JP-8. The problem, as DARPA puts it, is that: “Current commercial processes for producing biodiesel yield a fuel that is unsuitable for military applications, which require higher energy density and a wide operating temperature range. Subsequent secondary processing of biodiesel is currently inefficient and results in bio-fuel JP-8 being prohibitively expensive.”
As DID readers know, the Defense Department has been directed to explore a wide range of energy alternatives and fuel efficiency efforts in a bid to reduce the military’s reliance on oil to power its aircraft, ground vehicles and non-nuclear ships.
If your organization, or one you know, thinks it has what it takes to crack the JP-8 problem (pun intended), you can see more details, award criteria, and contact information here. The opportunity will be open until July 5, 2007, or until a contract is awarded. In the near term, there will be a July 25, 2006 Proposers’ Day at Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver, CO (4 attendees per organization max) – please send e-mail to BAA06-43 over at darpa dot mil not later than July 14, 2006 if you plan to attend.
Dec 15/06: The USAF pilots a B-52 running all 8 engines on a “Fischer-Tropsch” synthetic blend derived from natural gas. Note that this isn’t a biodiesel fuel, but natural gas is an interesting substitute because its markets are limited by pipeline transportation rather than international – and the test does illustrate the experiments underway.
Sept 29/06: A Boeing executive believes the biofuels idea has some promise, but describes the challenges.
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