Fruitful workshop in Mongolia

Acting on recommendations brought immediate results

By Claire Marchand

IEC Affiliate Country Programme Executive Secretary Françoise Rauser usually combines the IEC GM (General Meeting) with a visit to a neighbouring country participating in the programme. This year, following the GM in Tokyo, Japan, she flew to Mongolia, accompanied by IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre) Regional Director Dennis Chew.

The objective of the visit was twofold: first a joint IEC/PTB workshop on IEC International Standards and CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems focused on RE (Renewable Energies) and second, a visit to the Mongolian IEC Affiliate, to help establish the NEC (National Electrotechnical Committee). PTB (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt) is the German national metrology institute providing scientific and technical services.

IEC and PTB join forces

Some time ago, Françoise Rauser and IEC Head of Global Marketing and Communications Gabriela Ehrlich met with PTB in Braunschweig, Germany, to present and explain IEC activities in standardization and CA. They highlighted the major role the Affiliate Country Programme plays in helping developing countries to use and adopt IEC International Standards and to learn about the benefits of using the IEC CA Systems.

One of the outcomes of the meeting was the decision to launch a joint effort for developing countries in the form of a workshop to be held in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia, on 20 November.

PTB involvement in Mongolia

PTB is currently carrying out a three-year capacity-building project in Mongolia under the German Development Cooperation Programme. PTB’s role is to assist and support MASM (Mongolian Agency for Standardization and Metrology) in the following areas:

  • To implement standardization procedures according to international best practice and applying them, for example in the RE sector;
  • To provide adequate metrological services and concepts to the energy sector;
  • To develop a comprehensive long-term strategy including the overall system of metrology, standardization, testing, accreditation and certification, as well as its integration into the international institutional framework and the recognition and acceptance of these services at the national and international level.

Two elements are of key importance to the project: the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders, such as grid and power plant operators in standardization processes, and the adoption of International Standards as national ones.

The IEC/PTB workshop

The objective of the joint IEC/PTB workshop was to present IEC International Standards for RE, with special emphasis on solar power, and also to encourage the Mongolian Affiliate to establish a NEC so that Mongolia can upgrade to Affiliate Plus status and be given priority to receive a mentor as part of the IEC’s Mentoring Programme.

After the official opening by MASM Chairman Gantumur Galbadrakh, the Acting Director of MASM Standardization and Technical Regulation Division, Erdenebileg Galsandorj, presented MASM and its role in international standardization and CA for electrotechnology.

The IEC then took the floor. Dennis Chew gave an introduction to the IEC and its activities, and Françoise Rauser spoke about the Affiliate Country Programme and the multiple benefits of establishing a NEC. Both also made a presentation on IEC CA Systems and ACAS (Affiliate Conformity Assessment Status).

PTB Project Coordinator Corinna Weigelt and PTB expert Alex Inklaar addressed the topic of why and how to get involved in standards development and Arno Bergmann, an expert in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems, dealt with IEC standardization activities for renewable energies.

Gerel Jambaa, Senior Officer, Ministry of Mining and Energy, gave an overview of the focus and needs in the Mongolian energy sector.

The last item on the agenda was a discussion on the possible steps Mongolia could take to benefit the most from the IEC Affiliate Country Programme.

Huge interest in establishing a NEC

The presentation made by Rauser during the workshop was of great interest to many of the stakeholders in attendance, so much so that it was decided on the spot to have another meeting the next day, entirely dedicated to the setting up of a NEC.

The meeting, held at MASM headquarters, brought together stakeholders from SMEs (small and medium enterprises) the Chamber of Commerce, the telecommunication sector, laboratories, the administrative City Council of Ulanbaatar, the university, the college of electrical engineering and of course MASM.

Extremely positive outcome

It didn’t take long for the workshop and discussions held in Ulanbaatar to bear fruits. Since November, Mongolia has established its NEC, has become an Affiliate Plus, has signed the ACAS Pledge for training in CA and has applied for mentoring.