By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated a 10 Megawatts (MW) Independent Power Plant for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to complement the power needs of the airport.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said the project was significant to the development of the airport and the nation at large.
Sirika said the power plant was a response to the deficiency identified with the new international terminal of the airport.
He explained that the new terminal meant additional power need for the airport, adding that the government decided to engage the independent power provider to address the challenge.
“It is very significant that we commission this project now because immediately we took over office, Mr president directed that we must complete all ongoing projects including Abuja airport.
“There was a lot of planning deficiencies identified with the new terminal because they didn’t take into cognisance the issue of power deficiency.
“In response to address this deficiency, we commenced this project amongst many others.
“This independent power plant is part of the deficiency of the airport that has been rectified just now,” he said.
Mr Rabiu Yadudu, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said the expansion of the airport and the completion of the new terminal came with the demand for additional power supply, adding that this power plant had commensurate capacity with the airport facility.
“In the light of the very low power capacity in the country, FAAN decided to provide this 10 megawatts IPP facility to meet up with the power supply that is needed in this airport.
“This appropriately aligns with the federal government’s plan in decentralising power supply aimed at attracting private sector investments in ensuring reliable and adequate power supply to consumers.
“This is also in fulfilment of our promise to the stakeholders to ensure an efficient and safe airport operations,” he said.
Eric Tolsma, Managing Director of Janpour Group, the builder of the power plant, said the plant consisted of eight generators, generating one megawatt of electricity each.
Tolsma said the plant would meet the power need of the new terminal to make it run efficiently and independent of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
According to him, the plant, powered by MTM Engine which is one of the most efficient engines in the world, will ensure 100 per cent power supply to the airport.
“It will be a very efficient and reliable power plant for the airport,” he said.
Among the projects inaugurated by the minister, is the Accident Rescue and Resuscitation Centre which was the first of its kind in the airport.
Sirika also officially inaugurated the terminal D of the domestic wing of the airport which was rehabilitated between 2017 and 2018 as well as the fire watch tower for the General Aviation Terminal (GAT).
Also inaugurated was the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Central Store at the upper Air Hydrogen Shed Premises.
The Director General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, said that the facility was built to help the agency preserve its records of data.
Mashi said the agency decided to build the store to safeguard data collected on weather and climate. (NAN)