英语 英语 日语 日语 韩语 韩语 法语 法语 德语 德语 西班牙语 西班牙语 意大利语 意大利语 阿拉伯语 阿拉伯语 葡萄牙语 葡萄牙语 越南语 越南语 俄语 俄语 芬兰语 芬兰语 泰语 泰语 泰语 丹麦语 泰语 对外汉语

2006年VOA标准英语-Iraqis Deal with Cement Shortage, High Pri

时间:2007-03-01 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:淡泊人生   字体: [ ]

By Ben Gilbert
11 January 2006

An Iraqi mason works on a wall surrounding a new school on the outskirts1 of Basra (file picture)
Iraq has been hit with a construction boom - in no small part due to the infusion2 of more than $20 billion in reconstruction3 money. The reconstruction has fueled a demand for many building materials and at the top of the list is cement. In addition to electricity shortages and the lack of clean water, the country is now experiencing a shortage of the product.

This construction site sits in the middle of a large traffic circle in south Baghdad. It is surrounded by cars backed up bumper4 to bumper in all directions. The construction project aims to reduce the traffic, by building a raised highway across this part of town.

About 20 men, some in red and white checkered5 headscarves, smooth concrete with flat ended shovels6 as the gray sludge is shot from a large hose onto neatly7 placed steel bars. With projects like these occurring all over Iraq for the first time in 30 years, site manager Ashraf Mahmood says prices have skyrocketed.

"The prices for cement and sand and aggregate8, expand too much, as you know the gas problem, the transportation problem, in addition the Iraqi factories stop for working," he said.

Mahmood says the company doing this project has built its own temporary concrete mixing plant on site, because buying concrete from a cement plant is too expensive.

Another engineer, Mohammed Salih, says there is a very simple reason for the shortage.

"Anything you do, you must have cement," he said. "Any project, if you need tiles, bricks, even a small house, and even a big project."

Salih says the price for one ton of cement has gone up three to five times since before the war - from about $20 then to $125 now.

The problem is supply. June Reed, the U.S. Embassy Private Sector9 Development advisor10 in Baghdad, says most of Iraq's 13 plants are operating at about 25 percent capacity, or not operating at all.

"The state-owned enterprises that relate to cement are very old, some have plants and equipment that is 30-years old, outdated11, generally not profitable, certainly not efficient," she said.

Iraq's chronic12 electricity and fuel shortages, in part caused by sabotage13 and insurgent14 attacks, have also shut down plants.

Salah Kambour at the Iraqi Ministry15 of Industry and Minerals says Iraq is rich in limestone16 and clay. Those two ingredients create the cement that, when mixed with sand and gravel17, makes concrete. He says Iraq used to export its cement, but now: "We are importing cement from everywhere: from Turkey, from Lebanon, from Egypt, also from Kuwait, and from China! So from everywhere cement is coming!" he said.

Kambour says the production of Iraq's cement plants is about half the current demand. But even if the plants are repaired and provided with new equipment, they could only potentially produce about about half of the country's projected demand.

The American Embassy in Baghdad's commerce counselor18, Andrew Wylegala, says privatization can help bridge this production gap and that across the board free-market reforms promise the best future for Iraq's other state-owned industries.

"Clearly the private sector is the way forward, the work that has been done through official funds and through reconstruction efforts, was always intended and has made good headway in setting the stage so private sectors19 players could come in and continue the job," he said.

In a move toward that goal, the Ministry of Industry announced that two cement plants will be the first state-owned companies to be partially20 purchased by privately21 owned companies. Kambour hopes it pays off.

"We hope they can get the know-how22, to reach the design capacities, so the bad need of cement can be satisfied," he said.

More investors23 have found Iraq's construction boom a good bet and 20 new privately owned cement plants are to be built at a cost of $3 billion during the next three years. Until then, Iraqi small businessman and contractors24 struggle to continue rebuilding a country where concrete prices are prohibitively expensive.


1 outskirts gmDz7W     
  • Our car broke down on the outskirts of the city.我们的汽车在市郊出了故障。
  • They mostly live on the outskirts of a town.他们大多住在近郊。
2 infusion CbAz1     
  • Old families need an infusion of new blood from time to time.古老的家族需要不时地注入新鲜血液。
  • Careful observation of the infusion site is necessary.必须仔细观察输液部位。
3 reconstruction 3U6xb     
  • The country faces a huge task of national reconstruction following the war.战后,该国面临着重建家园的艰巨任务。
  • In the period of reconstruction,technique decides everything.在重建时期,技术决定一切。
4 bumper jssz8     
  • The painting represents the scene of a bumper harvest.这幅画描绘了丰收的景象。
  • This year we have a bumper harvest in grain.今年我们谷物丰收。
5 checkered twbzdA     
  • The ground under the trees was checkered with sunlight and shade.林地光影交错。
  • He’d had a checkered past in the government.他过去在政界浮沉。
6 shovels ff43a4c7395f1d0c2d5931bbb7a97da6     
n.铲子( shovel的名词复数 );锹;推土机、挖土机等的)铲;铲形部份v.铲子( shovel的第三人称单数 );锹;推土机、挖土机等的)铲;铲形部份
  • workmen with picks and shovels 手拿镐铲的工人
  • In the spring, we plunge shovels into the garden plot, turn under the dark compost. 春天,我们用铁锨翻开园子里黑油油的沃土。 来自辞典例句
7 neatly ynZzBp     
  • Sailors know how to wind up a long rope neatly.水手们知道怎样把一条大绳利落地缠好。
  • The child's dress is neatly gathered at the neck.那孩子的衣服在领口处打着整齐的皱褶。
8 aggregate cKOyE     
  • The football team had a low goal aggregate last season.这支足球队上个赛季的进球总数很少。
  • The money collected will aggregate a thousand dollars.进帐总额将达一千美元。
9 sector yjczYn     
  • The export sector will aid the economic recovery. 出口产业将促进经济复苏。
  • The enemy have attacked the British sector.敌人已进攻英国防区。
10 advisor JKByk     
  • They employed me as an advisor.他们聘请我当顾问。
  • The professor is engaged as a technical advisor.这位教授被聘请为技术顾问。
11 outdated vJTx0     
  • That list of addresses is outdated,many have changed.那个通讯录已经没用了,许多地址已经改了。
  • Many of us conform to the outdated customs laid down by our forebears.我们许多人都遵循祖先立下的过时习俗。
12 chronic BO9zl     
  • Famine differs from chronic malnutrition.饥荒不同于慢性营养不良。
  • Chronic poisoning may lead to death from inanition.慢性中毒也可能由虚弱导致死亡。
13 sabotage 3Tmzz     
  • They tried to sabotage my birthday party.他们企图破坏我的生日晚会。
  • The fire at the factory was caused by sabotage.那家工厂的火灾是有人蓄意破坏引起的。
14 insurgent V4RyP     
  • Faruk says they are threatened both by insurgent and government forces.法鲁克说,他们受到暴乱分子和政府军队的双重威胁。
  • The insurgent mob assembled at the gate of the city park.叛变的暴徒聚在市立公园的门口。
15 ministry kD5x2     
  • They sent a deputation to the ministry to complain.他们派了一个代表团到部里投诉。
  • We probed the Air Ministry statements.我们调查了空军部的记录。
16 limestone w3XyJ     
  • Limestone is often used in building construction.石灰岩常用于建筑。
  • Cement is made from limestone.水泥是由石灰石制成的。
17 gravel s6hyT     
  • We bought six bags of gravel for the garden path.我们购买了六袋碎石用来铺花园的小路。
  • More gravel is needed to fill the hollow in the drive.需要更多的砾石来填平车道上的坑洼。
18 counselor czlxd     
  • The counselor gave us some disinterested advice.顾问给了我们一些无私的忠告。
  • Chinese commercial counselor's office in foreign countries.中国驻国外商务参赞处。
19 sectors 218ffb34fa5fb6bc1691e90cd45ad627     
n.部门( sector的名词复数 );领域;防御地区;扇形
  • Berlin was divided into four sectors after the war. 战后柏林分成了4 个区。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Industry and agriculture are the two important sectors of the national economy. 工业和农业是国民经济的两个重要部门。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
20 partially yL7xm     
  • The door was partially concealed by the drapes.门有一部分被门帘遮住了。
  • The police managed to restore calm and the curfew was partially lifted.警方设法恢复了平静,宵禁部分解除。
21 privately IkpzwT     
  • Some ministers admit privately that unemployment could continue to rise.一些部长私下承认失业率可能继续升高。
  • The man privately admits that his motive is profits.那人私下承认他的动机是为了牟利。
22 know-how TxeyA     
  • He hasn't got the know-how to run a farm.他没有经营农场的专业知识。
  • I don't have much know-how about engines.发动机方面的技术知识我知之甚少。
23 investors dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99     
n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
  • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
  • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
24 contractors afd5c0fd2ee43e4ecee8159c7a7c63e4     
n.(建筑、监造中的)承包人( contractor的名词复数 )
  • We got estimates from three different contractors before accepting the lowest. 我们得到3个承包商的报价后,接受了最低的报价。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Contractors winning construction jobs had to kick back 2 per cent of the contract price to the mafia. 赢得建筑工作的承包商得抽出合同价格的百分之二的回扣给黑手党。 来自《简明英汉词典》
最新评论 查看所有评论
发表评论 查看所有评论