Saudi Arabia: The largest testing laboratory in the world ever built in a single construction phase is to be completed in Dammam by 2021.
That will make the ‘GCC Electrical Testing Laboratory’ (GCC ETL) the largest testing laboratory in the entire Middle East region. The project volume for supply and construction of high-voltage test systems is roughly $22 M (EUR 20 M). The original idea for a testing laboratory of this immense scale was first conceived in 2007, with HIGHVOLT submitting an initial offer as part of a feasibility study in 2011. The project was officially launched at the Middle East Electricity (MEE) trade fair in Dubai, 2016. During the following years, numerous technical consultations were held with GCC ETL and CESI, which provided support for detailed technical planning as an independent testing laboratory. Detailed and modified offers were submitted based on these consultations, until the contract was finally awarded to HIGHVOLT and CEPCO in 2019.
The laboratory offers customers a range of test bays where many different tests can be conducted. It is designed for dielectric testing of high voltage products like transformers, switchgears, circuit breakers, measuring transducers, isolators etc. and will contain various AC voltage test systems for voltages up to 1200 kV and an impulse voltage test system for over 3000 kV, as well as a three-phase AC voltage test system with a capacity of 4000 kVA specifically for testing power transformers.