The government has taken a move to set up an electrical testing laboratory, the first of its kind in the country, aiming to provide world-class testing, inspection and certification services required for a vibrant power system network.
Despite tremendous growth in the Power Sector, Bangladesh does not have any accredited electrical testing laboratory (Low, Medium or High Voltage) for third party testing and certification.
According to official sources, an Italian consultant, appointed by Power Cell, the technical wing of the Power Division, has already submitted its draft report on feasibility, technical and financial aspects of the laboratory.
“We hope we can take the physical move on setting up the electrical testing lab if the report of the consultant is accepted as an impartial and independent one,” Mohammad Hossain, director general of the Power Cell, told UNB.
He said this lab will not only ensure the quality and standard of equipment purchased by different authorities in the country, but will play a vital role in saving foreign currency as well.
“Currently, we get some limited services from the lab of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet).
But in most of the cases we have to spend thousands of dollars to get a typed test report from a bidder which pushes up the overall cost of a project”, he added.
An official document in this regard reveals, the vision of the government is to provide quality electricity to all by 2041.
Commendable achievement has been made in the power sector during the last decade in meeting the target.
Power System Master Plan 2016 has been drawn up with a target to generate 60,000 MW by 2041.
To achieve the Vision 2041, an enormous number of power plants need to be set up with huge expansion of transmission and distribution networks.
The growth in the power sector encouraged many private sector companies to build manufacturing plants in Bangladesh to manufacture transformers, breakers, CT/PTs and switchgears.
The growth in the power sector requires transmission and distribution utilities to procure hundreds and thousands of power and distribution transformers with associated switchgears, electrical apparatus /equipment and line items.
In absence of accredited electrical testing laboratories electric utilities and private sector entities have to rely on certificates of foreign Electrical Testing Laboratory, which costs them a lot of foreign currency.
To reduce the dependency on foreign testing laboratories, an accredited high voltage electrical testing laboratory is needed in the country.
Official sources said the Power Cell is now conducting the feasibility through its Italian consultant under funding support from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).