The labs will replace a three-decade-old laboratory

Jun 29 , 2019

The country's National Metrology Institute of Ethiopia is building laboratory centres and an administrative complex for 756 million Br at its premises located in Megenagna, near AMECHE.

The new construction consists of five different structures - four four-storey buildings and another six-storey building designated as an administrative building. The four buildings will separately house an electro-magnetic lab, a thermal lab, a mechanical and chemical laboratory, and a science equipment lab.

Funded by the government, the new facilities will replace the existing three-decade-old laboratory. China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), a 12-year-old firm that constructed Kombolcha Industrial Park, Addis-Adama Expressway and Measo-to-Djibouti railway, won the design and build contract, which is expected to take three years to complete.

CCCC secured the project last April after winning a public tender issued in October 2018 by the Ministry of Innovation & Technology.

The Institute has been sending instruments and equipment that require calibration, like thermometers and pressure testing devices, to South Africa, according to Abedu Abagibe (PhD), director general of the National Metrology Institute, which currently gives 16 different calibration services and provides 25,000 certificates a year for different industries.

“The construction of the laboratory will help us do our own calibrations locally, saving foreign exchange,” said Abedu.

The construction of the building is also expected to alleviate a lack of working spaces at the Institute, according to the management.

Upon completion, the laboratory will offer its chemical testing services to chemical industries, a service not previously offered by the Institute.

The World Bank Group has pledged eight million dollars for the procurement of laboratory equipment for the project.

"We're in the process of procuring laboratory equipment for the Institute. Some have already been procured, while others are in the tender process," said Wedwossen Fisseha, national quantity infrastructure development coordinator, at the World Bank.

The Institute provides calibration services at its laboratories and branch offices. The services include calibrating micrometres, an item used for the measurement of components in mechanical engineering and machining; steel graduated rules; penetrometres, a device used to test the strength of a material; displacement transducers, an instrument for measuring linear positions; vernier callipers and steel tapes.

The Institute, established in February 2011, is responsible for the maintenance of instruments and devices used for Ethiopian National Measurement Standards and Certified Reference Materials, in addition to providing training on metrology and scientific equipment maintenance.

Tilahun Tesfa, a lecturer at Haramaya University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, applauds the construction of the new laboratories.

"It will increase and diversify the services provided by the Institute and will save foreign currency," Tilahun said. "It will help the nation to transfer to industrialisation and help industries gain quick access to our laboratories."

PUBLISHED ON Jun 29,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1000]

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