09 March 2013, Lagos – An indigenous Nigerian oil company, Oando Plc, has concluded discussion with the federal government to provide long-term, uninterrupted power supply to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos and
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja through the establishment of an Independent Power Supply project, IPP, at the cost of $100 million (N16 billion).
It was gathered that discussions over the project had reached advanced stage and that each airport would cost the company $50 million, while the federal government, through the Ministry of Aviation, is already looking at the terms offered by the company as the project, when completed, would last for about 20 years.
An inside source from the aviation ministry said: “This project is going to provide uninterrupted power supply at these airports and environs. We are yet to sign the agreement but we are in advanced discussion with them and after the last meeting, we are going to have with the government, we will come to a conclusion. They made an offer to us; we saw that it is good, so we accepted it. We need reliable power supply at the airports to carry out the kind of massive development that we want, to boost the economy of this country.”
The IPP, when eventually ratified, would be powered by gas and the capacity would be 30 KVA for each of the airports and when completed the projects would be primary power supply to the airports while the present power project almost completed at the Lagos airport would provide secondary power supply during the maintenance of the IPP and other planned interruptions.
The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, had during her midterm report a fortnight ago in Abuja, said all the major airports in the country would have IPP for uninterrupted power supply to provide the kind of service the airports need, especially now that the federal government was embarking on fresh produce cargo export programme as cold rooms would be built at perishable cargo terminals where the produce would be stored before airlift to various destinations overseas and locally.
Oduah also said the airfield lighting that would be provided at some of the airport runways, including that of the 18L of the domestic terminal in Lagos and the existing ones, would need uninterrupted power both from the IPP and solar power in a backup on backup power system.
If successfully completed, Oando would extend the project to other airports in the country, but another indigenous oil company, MRS was also jostling to provide gas powered IPP to some of the airports, but government had not started any discussion with the company.
The period of completion of the projects, however, is still unknown as government is yet to finalise discussions on the project.
– Chinedu Eze, This Day.