The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has taken steps to end incessant power outages at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos with the installation of six 24 megawatts capacity generators.
The agency had attributed major cause of recent power cuts at the international airport to disruption of cables at the construction site of the new international terminal, where the cables that supply electricity to the old terminal pass through.
With the relocation of the cables and the coming on stream of the new generators, the agency said the power outages would be a thing of the past.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma made the promise recently when a team of senior officials of Caterpillar, the firm that built and installed the generating sets, led by the company’s Vice President, visited the agency’s Lagos office.
The Managing Director, who was represented by the Director of Engineering and Maintenance, Olufemi Ogunode explained that two out of the six generators could provide all the electricity needed at the airport so the additional four generators were installed because the airport is expanding as the number of air travellers increases.
“Power outage is not strange in Nigeria but it is our responsibility to stop it at our airports. You can see we have a message from Caterpillar. It is our management response to find lasting solution to these issues of outages. The cause of the outages could be because of system failure in the entire network of the nation and at times we have construction going on at MMIA here, which often leads to our cables being cut and we respond to that by using these generators as backups.
“Now we have re-routed most of our cables that pass through the construction site, so we don’t expect that to happen again. We need just about two of the six generators to power the electricity in the main terminal building and around it at a time. This was designed in a way that it also has excess capacity in case there is expansion of the airport so that when more power is demanded it will take care of it. The total capacity is about 24 megawatts,” the Managing Director said.
He noted that the importance of the project made the team from Caterpillar Mantrac to visit the agency to assure the people of the efficiency of the back up generators, which would serve as the secondary power supply, as FAAN also relies on public power supply.
“There will be steady power supply from PHCN and incase of failure we have the backup systems in place, which is stable, reliable and very efficient.
The vice president of Caterpillar Mantrac came because of the confidence they have in their generator and you see us use it in their presence. Even in Abuja facility we have these as well. We just wish to assure the populace that there is really nothing to worry about. We may have hiccups here and there but surely it is now a thing of the past,” he assured.
In his response the Vice President of Caterpillar, Raymond Chan who is responsible for dealer network in Africa and Middle East said: “I am extremely excited to be here. I am very happy with what I have seen so far. They are beautiful Caterpillar generator sets here. They are four megawatts each with a total of 24 megawatts for the Federal Airports Authority. I am happy together with Nigeria for the provision of this infrastructure to power the airports.”