The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and manufacturers of giant generators, Mantrac caterpillar are partnering to put an end to power outages at the country’s airports nationwide especially the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.
This plan received a boost over the weekend with the visit of the Caterpillar Vice President, for Asia Pacific, CIS, Africa and Middle East Distribution Division, Raymond Chan to the management of FAAN in Lagos.
The Managing Director, FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, after joint inspection of FAAN Power House at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport assured airport users, airlines and stakeholders that the era of power outage at the gateway airport was over
The Managing Director, who was represented by the Director of Maintenance and Engineering, Engr. Femi Ogunode, stated that the visit by Caterpillar group, the original manufacturer of the six generators at FAAN Power House was part of management response to find lasting solution to the series of power outages
He added that in the event of any power failure, FAAN has these generators backups to power the terminals.
According to him, “I am sure you saw the Caterpillar people that came to visit us as well .They are the manufacturers of these equipment so their visit further gives us the assurance not just to us but also to the populace and the stakeholders that we have the backup system in case of any failure be rest assure that these generators will perform.”
“Definitely, steady power supply from PHCN and in case of failure we have the backup systems in place that is stable, reliable and very efficient’ he added.
He explained that as part of the long lasting solution to the power outage, the agency had re–routed most of its cable that passed through the construction site adding that FAAN does not expect any power outage to happen again at the terminal.
On what must have been responsible for the frequent power outages at the number one airport terminal in the country, he said, “It could be as a result of system failure on the entire network in the nation and a times we have construction work going on in MMA here, which often lead to our cables being cut and in response to that, we use these generators as backups.”
Ogunode disclosed that FAAN has six standby generators capable of generating 24 megawatts, adding that each of these generators produce four megawatts.
Ogunode, said the visit to FAAN by the caterpillar team showed that there was hope for the sector in terms of power improvement. “ It goes a long way to say that the relationship between us has been fruitful and the equipment can stand the test of time. Not only did they come, we also used them in their presence and even in Abuja facilities we have it as well. So, just to assure the public that there is really nothing to worry about. We may have hiccups here and there but surely power outage is a thing of the past.”
Speaking after the inspection, the Caterpillar Vice President who expressed his feelings, stated that he was not only happy to be in FAAN but that he was also satisfied with what he saw at the Power House.
According to him, “I am extremely excited to be here, I am very happy with what I have seen so far. I see beautiful generator sets here. They are six units and four megawatts each and they produce 24 megawatts for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and I am very proud together with the dealers MANTRAC that we have the opportunity to provide our service to Nigeria especially for very important infrastructure, providing critical standby power to airport.”
On the cost of the generators, Chan said,“These are very expensive, these are very good machines, sets and they are not cheap.”
FAAN had attributed the several power cuts at the terminal to the excavation of electric cables buried underground that supply power to airport by construction workers working on the new international terminal under construction.