«Russian Grids» plan to create the Federal Testing Centre of the Russian Federation until the end of 2017

29 October 2013

This was said about at a presentation of the project at the II International Innovation Forum UPGRID 2013 «Power Grid. Innovation. Development» by First Deputy General Director for Technical Policy of «Russian Grids» Roman Berdnikov: «The test centre will be provided with all necessary equipment and is primarily targeted at the high-voltage test equipment. In fact, today’s existing centres in Russia do not test electrical equipment above 110 kV. Start of the Centre operation is planned by the end of 2017.» Roman Berdnikov also added that the estimated cost for the design and construction of the centre will reach 12.7 billion rubles.

The signing of a cooperation agreement of «Russian Grids» and SC «Vnesheconombank» on the joint project of the Federal Test Centre opened the business program of the Forum. The main purpose of the Agreement is to establish a strategic partnership, to develop long-term and effective cooperation between the companies in the implementation of the investment project to create the federal testing centre in Russia. It is planned that «Vnesheconombank» will allocate 70% of funds for construction of the centre through preferential lending.

Roman Berdnikov stressed that the main task of the centre is to support domestic manufacturers. Answering journalists’ questions, he also said that the construction of the centre will be a profitable investment project due to its uniqueness and relevance. «It is planned to perform in the new test centre the list of qualifying tests of new and developed equipment according to all the required national and international standards,» underlined First Deputy General Director for Technical Policy of «Russian Grids». Equipping of the centre will also allow conducting the development of test procedures, standards and guidelines, testing and verification of calculation methods and check testing of equipment after failures and outages.

After signing the agreement Deputy Head of SC «Vnesheconombank» Anatoly Ballo stressed: «The construction of the test centre will create the conditions in which Russian products will be actively implemented in the power grid complex. We hope that this project will contribute to the development of the export potential of the industry.»

The appearance of the test centre in Russia, first of all, will have a beneficial effect on the level of energy security of the country, will help improve the reliability of the power system and increase the competitiveness of Russian producers at the domestic and international level.

According to Roman Berdnikov, the future centre will be located in St. Petersburg. The deciding factors were the availability of the necessary infrastructure and logistic issues of delivery of equipment to be tested, the availability of competent personnel in the region and land resources.

The creation of the federal testing centre in Russia will improve the efficiency of the entire power grid facilities, will reduce the share of imports in the procurement of equipment and the development of competition in the electrical equipment market and, last but not least, will become a barrier hindering the penetration into the Russian market of poor quality electrical products.

For reference:
The existing independent test centres in Russia do not provide testing in accordance with current technical requirements of foreign and domestic standards, and are limited in voltage classes. Thus, the shortage of test facilities is offset with costly tests in foreign centres or hardware parameters are supported with calculation procedures that do not guarantee the safe operation of the equipment under actual operating conditions or restrictions are imposed at the certification in terms of the scope of use of permissible equipment.

Currently, academic institutions and electrical engineering companies in Russia are limited in opportunities to create new technologies, while Russian manufacturers are not able to cover the needs of the industry in the equipment above 220 kV, so much of the investment is spent to purchase imported equipment. In this regard, there is technological dependence of the power industry on foreign markets and foreign testing centres.

In economic terms, this situation provokes an increase in the cost of power equipment, but when in the presence of its own testing centre savings of the investment program would amount to 2.3 billion rubles a year. But, more importantly, because of the failure to conduct a full test in Russia damage from accidents at power facilities as a result of failures of not fully tested equipment annually is estimated at 1 billion rubles.

In addition, the process of testing in both foreign and domestic centres takes a long time up to six months. The time of negotiation of the contract for a test in foreign centres takes 3-4 months, in Russian — a month.

Availability of affordable test facilities in the country will predict the time to launch comparable in quality domestic similar products. Absence of additional transportation costs, customs fees and taxes at foreign testing centres will allow decreasing in market prices by 10-15%.

The greatest need in the testing equipment now accounts for electric grid companies. First of all, it is conducting environmental testing, testing with direct current, short circuit resistance testing of equipment to, endurance tests, high voltage, mechanical and safety testing.

In the short term, the creation of a single test centre must meet the current demand on the Russian market and in the future will consider entering the Asian and European markets and strengthening the international position on the market of high voltage electrical equipment testing.

In the scientific segment the test centre will conduct research of prototypes and pre-production testing of samples of new electrical products, and the industry in this regard will have development of domestic enterprises producing equipment above 110 kV, the system of intradepartmental certification and an industry-wide system of purpose indicators confirmation and certification will be optimized.

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