USAID, Iraqi Refinery Open Training Center to Strengthen Skills of Information Technology (IT) Managers

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
USAID Press Office

BAGHDAD-The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Midland Refineries Co. opened an Information Technology (IT) Training Center at Daura Refinery today aimed at strengthening the management skills of professionals in the energy sector.

The USAID-funded National Capacity Development program, known as "Tatweer," supports the Ministry of Oil and other key Iraqi ministries by developing public management skills, reforming operating systems, and instituting best practices and international standards. In November 2008, USAID-Tatweer launched an initiative to modernize the IT infrastructure at Daura Refinery to improve overall performance of the company. The refinery is recognized as a center of excellence and innovation in information management, producing highly-qualified engineers.

Along with IT support, USAID-Tatweer started the "New Project Manager" workshops in November 2008 to integrate state-of-the-art industry procedures with practical experiences of Daura engineers. The workshops train engineers in project management, procurement and contracting, and health, safety and environmental systems management. To date more than 100 Daura engineers have participated in these workshops that have direct relevance to the refinery's expansion projects.

According to USAID-Tatweer energy advisors, Daura Refinery recently increased its fuel oil output by 70,000 barrels per day to 160,000 barrels per day, recording a 77 percent increase in performance. Additionally, the refinery shifted 20,000 barrels per day of production from Daura to Najaf and Samawa cities, thereby expanding net capacity growth in the provinces. With increased productivity and resources, Iraq has the potential to offset imports of refined products and attract investments to the region after 30 years of isolation.

To sustain the benefits of the "New Project Manager" workshops, USAID-Tatweer in collaboration with the Ministry of Oil is designing a training-of-trainers (ToT) program to help Daura employees retain and share the information they learn with others in the industry.

In his remarks, USAID Country Director Christopher D. Crowley said, "The new IT training Center will increase effectiveness of the refinery by integrating it into the global economic system". He also said that USAID remains committed to providing technical assistance, and access to training and funds to help the Government of Iraq succeed in its efforts to rebuild a modern society.

Since 2003, USAID has invested more than $6 billion on programs designed to stabilize communities; foster economic and agricultural growth; and build the capacity of the national, local, and provincial governments to respond to the needs of the Iraqi people.

For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.