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City Power’s Silas Zimu honoured as top utility CEO at African Utility Week

Silas Zimu,
CEO, City Power
22 May 2009 – One of the highlights of this week’s African Utility Week in Cape Town was the prestigious, annual awards given to the power and metering industry.  The awards were hosted and announced by event organisers Spintelligent as well as the publications ESI Africa and Metering International during the opening session of the event.  

The Utility Chief Executive Officer of the Year Award was won by Silas Zimu, CEO City Power, Johannesburg.
The Editor of ESI Africa and Metering International magazines, Nicholas McDiarmid, said Mr Zimu was a unanimous winner because “he strategically managed the electricity security for the continent’s hub of commerce. This strategy included the refurbishment of power stations, an extremely well-managed load shedding plan which had minimal impact on customers and kept the power on. His network expansion programme and his planning for the 2010 Soccer World Cup has impacted and not only benefited established consumers, but has also increased connections to the previously un-electrified.”  City Power has also received an international accolade for the best pre-payment roll-out in the world.

The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority won the 5th Power Station Manager of the Year Award.  The award was given for a major ten-year major maintenance project by the Authority and its timely and effective execution of this project ensured that the project met the expectations of all the key stakeholders.

As with any major project, the challenge for the station management was to plan, execute and to complete the project;

  • within the approved budget
  • within the planned outage period
  • with minimum impact
  • with minimum disruption to power generation
  • with minimum loss of income revenue from electricity sales, and
  • in an optimal manner that would minimise the electricity imports during the period.

The project generated short term employment and training opportunities for local technicians. The skills acquired during this outage may stand to benefit other utilities operations within the country and within the SADC region.

The Metering International Excellence Awards included a revenue protection and a metering category.  

The Revenue Protection category honoured the most innovative implementation of a revenue protection programme in an African utility and this year the winners were PN Energy for their Khayelitsha Revenue Protection Project.

The judging panel were most impressed by their “utilisation as a prime example of how revenue losses could be effectively minimized by Utilities in Africa, which would then ultimately prevent the need for “load shedding”.

The Metering Category honoured the most innovative implementation of a metering project in an African utility.  The 2009 winners were the ORTECH Consulting Group for their work in Nigeria with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria the ambitious nationwide programme to covert all Low Voltage consumer connections to pre-payment metering, replacing some 2.5 million meters.

For more information on African Utility Week contact:
Conference producer:  Claire Volkwyn
Phone:  +27 (0) 21 700-3500 EXT:  3559
Email:  claire.volkwyn@spintelligent.com
Event websites:  www.african-utility-week.com ; www.powerindaba.com
For more events by Spintelligent:  www.spintelligent-events.com