TAC brings heavy drilling equipment to Kenya, facilitates finding water
The Transatlantic Programs Center is contributing to improved well drilling capabilities in Kenya through two procurement contracts.
“The new equipment will augment older well drilling rigs being used by the Kenyan Army’s Water Drilling Squadron,” said Douglas W. Hopper, project manager, Foreign Military Sales Branch. “The Squadron performs well drilling operations for both civil and government projects throughout the country for areas experiencing water shortages.”
Under contracts totaling $3.5 million, Schramm Inc. of West Chester, Pa., provided two heavy duty, heavy hoist truck-mounted well drilling rigs, and Flatwater Fleet of Duluth, Minn., provided two rig tender vehicles.
The Schramm drilling rigs are engineered specifically to meet harsh drilling requirements, Hopper said. The rigs are readily equipped with 45-degree sliding angle mast and dual tube, reverse circulation drilling equipment, and optional accessories. The rigs are ideally suited for drilling large diameter holes and deep exploration drilling.
Hopper said that rig tender vehicles supply water, fuel, drill pipe and casing required for daily drilling operations. The tender vehicle system contains deck-mounted remote control cranes for loading and unloading pipe, self-priming water pumps, tow-truck winching capability, and welder and generator capability.
The contracts also included spare parts, accessories and piping, and operations and maintenance training on the equipment.
“The contracts were awarded in February and March 2008, and the equipment is now being accepted by the Kenyan government,” he said.
The procurement contracts resulted from a foreign military sales case initiated and funded by the Kenyan government.
Hopper said that several agencies contributed to the project, including the Kenyan Department of Defense, which provided the technical requirements for the equipment; the Kenyan U.S. Liaison Office in the embassy in Nairobi, which coordinated with KDoD and helped with coordinating equipment shipment; and the Corps’ Mobile District, which has expertise in well drilling.
“The Mobile District supported the procurement by performing inspections of the equipment and spare parts at the manufacturer’s facility,” he said.
In addition to Mobile District personnel – Rhonda Capes, Ed Harmon, John Baehr and Charles Brown – he complimented TAC personnel who contributed to the project: Lynn Johnson and Barbara Byam of Contracting, Laura McClurg and Daryl Puffinburger of Project Management, Rob McKenney of Office of Counsel, Resource Management and Technical Services Branch.
The foreign military sales program falls under the Defense Department’s security assistance program. It is used to transfer defense equipment, services and training to other nations and may be host nation or U.S. funded.
Hopper said that TAC has completed other projects in Kenya that fostered improved relationships with that nation. In 2007, TAC constructed a jump tower with ramp and associated facilities for training the Kenyan Army and in 2006, constructed a computerized tomography scan facility in Nairobi.