Nigerian smart meter
Nigerian smart meter

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has extended the US$120 million tender for the installation of 300 000 smart meters until Tuesday 24 February 2015, the Herald reported.

‘Notice is hereby given to all prospective bidders that the closing date for the formal tender for the design, supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of Advanced Metering Infrastructure: Backened System, Smart Meters and Associated Equipment has been extended from 20 January to 24 February 2015 at 10:00 hours respectively to provide adequate time for preparation of bids,’ said the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company in a recent notice.

The 300 interested bidders have been given a 35 day extension in response to the recent upset displayed by bidders who said that they had not been given a fair time period to prepare accordingly.

‘We floated this tender towards the festive season and most companies complained that they had closed while others said they were heading towards the festive season and there was no time to prepare the bids,’ an anonymous source told media.smartmeter_large2

‘Some of the companies, including those from Western and Asian regions, requested for an extension and we had to comply with that request to cater for everyone’, the source added.

According to the source, the utility had formerly written to Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenga, suggesting that the initial request of 300 000 smart meters be reduced by 60%, a more realistic figure to meet the 80 000 possible beneficiaries.

‘The tender has received great response and to date more than 300 companies have bought the tender documents and the number is likely to get bigger during the 35 day extension’, the source explained.

‘We have written to the Minister (Undenge) recommending that we reduce the quantities and do those that will make a business case. The touted 300 000 is a lot and we need to scale down to a realistic number which is based on business requirements and needs’, the source added.

Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and his deputy, Engineer Munacho Mutezo, were driving the 300 000 meters insisting that the excess would benefit future energy users, despite indications of rapid technological advancements in the short to medium term.

To date the utility has installed an estimated 540 000 smart meters since 2012, and will continue to do so with the notion that such modern systems could reduce electricity theft and boost economic growth.

 

(Pic Credits: ecomagination)

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Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl has been working in the African power, energy and water sectors since 2011, first with African Utility Week and now as the Editor of ESI Africa. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Global and African Power & Energy Elites publications. With her passion for sustainable business and placing African countries on the international stage, Nicolette takes a keen interest in current affairs and technology trends.