Following reported cases of contaminated Jet A1 also known as aviation fuel in Nigeria and the need to keep air operations safe, an indigenous service firm, Engineering Automation Technology Limited (EATECH) has launched new technologies into the Nigerian market to assist in detecting poor quality fuels and lubricating in Nigeria’s aviation sector.
Managing Director of EATECH, Mr. Emmanuel Okon who spoke at an event held in Lagos to train clients and other users of the various technologies, lamented the havoc that adulterated fuels had done in the industry to aircraft and investors.
According to him, the company had to partner two United Kingdom (UK) based firms, Cygnus Instruments Limited and Stanhope-Seta Limited in an effort to bring in the technologies into Nigeria.
“We had to bring in this sophisticated technologies into Nigeria because we realize that at a time like this when the cost of fuels had gone up following the full deregulation of the downstream sector, it was important consumers paid for the right quality of fuel they purchased at retail outlets,” said Okon.
“Let us take the aviation sector where all of us know that there is no parking space in the air and that no matter the quality and the integrity of the aircraft engine, any impurity in the aircraft fuel is capable of bringing it down and killing the entire crew and passengers.
“It is order to avert that type of risk, that we have decided to bring in the technology that can tell you look this fuel is bad, it is not of the right quality, it has a high level of impurity, and it can destroy the aircraft,” Okon added.
According to him, the UK companies have the technology for the testing of the integrity of aviation fuels, lubricating oils, crude and heavy fuel oils, and motor fuels to ensure that there is no compromise that can lead to human casualties. And the technologies can also mitigate and manage corrosion,” he added.
Okon said the company had also sealed a deal with the UK firms that allowed for the training of many Nigerians in the repair, service, and maintenance of these equipment.
He continued, “If you bring in the equipment and they are not well serviced, calibrated and maintained, it will even give you wrong results. So we have also worked with the original equipment manufacturers to gain the same competence as they do. We have also gotten the authorization and approval as in-country authorized service centre for these products. And what that implies is that Nigerians don’t need to send the equipment back to the manufacturer the UK for services, maintenance, repairs and revalidation and calibration.
“Any of the upstream or downstream oil firm, or the airlines can call us and we validate or maintain any of the equipment whenever they get spoilt. We are also boosting human capacity by training these Nigerians. That means we are saving a lot of foreign exchange for the country and I believe you know the challenge of sourcing for forex these days in the country. The objective is to mitigate or completely eliminate compromise in terms of corrosion or the quality of fuel or lubricants used in the tank farms, depots, cars, trucks, and aircraft, in this sensitive industry,” he added.
Recall that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended five oil marketing companies because it had to ensure compliance to safety standard especially as their ban is linked to complaints from airlines about adulterated Jet A1, leaving residue on their aircraft.
Their suspension in November 2015 came as a result of registered complains by some airlines in September the same year.