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September 24, 2019

Smart meters installation: Uzbekistan takes lead in CAREC states


September 24, 2019

SAMARKAND: Smart meters installed in houses and commercial outlets and check meters at distribution transformers in just three regions of Samarkand, Bukhara and Jizzak regions of Uzbekistan have started giving dividends as they visibly helped reduce the losses and increase the collection of billed amount.

Uzbekistan took lead in CAREC countries in installing the smart meters. The smart meters not only help reduce losses in power sector, but also improve collection of the billed amount against the usage of electricity. The timely decision has factually enabled Uzbek government to lead in CAREC states.

The installed smart meters’ working and their results have been seen in various parts of Smarkand and Jizzak by media persons assembled there from CAREC countries and they also came across with consumers and discussed the benefits of the smart meters.

“We are very happy as we now pay for the electricity that we use and we do not pay for the electricity stolen by others,” the residents of many areas told this during interactions with media persons. Journalists were also given the opportunity to have interaction with the top official of the electric power company. Officials of electric power company also gave the detailed briefing on the project.

Senior Energy Specialist Uzbekistan Resident Mission Bouadokphering Toychik Chansavat while talking to The News said that this AMI project will be extended countrywide once the Uzbek government gets satisfied with the result of smart metering system. He said that ADB provided $150 million to Uzbekistan to help finance $200 million smart metering pilot project. He said that 1 million residential and commercial consumers received AEMs in Bukhara, Jizzakh and Samarkand regions.

“Annual power supply in Uzbekistan is 51,935 gegawatt-hours and reducing the losses by just one percent annually, it saves 520 gigawatt-hours of worth $26 million.”

In Pakistan, AMI project proposed by ADB witnessed many ups and downs and at one time during last regime in Pakistan, the then power minister abandoned the project without any rationale, but the sitting government has decided to implement this project. Only the bid of one Korean Telecom Company KT is short-listed for technical and commercial evaluation in the bidding process and ADB board will consider giving the award of contract in its next board meeting.

Asian Development Bank has been striving for ages in Pakistan to introduce the AMI system to bring down the losses and erase electricity theft, but still it is victim of red tap as last government had done away with this proposed project, but the new government has approved it and only one company namely KT (Korea Telecom) is shortlisted for evaluation to qualify for tenders of smart meters.

“Yes, KT is the only company that is shortlist in the process. Ideally, two companies should have been shortlisted for bids evaluation. Now the ADB board will decide as to whether the KT should be given the contract or the bank should repeat the bidding process,” says Addition Secretary Power Division Waseem Mukhtar who is currently in Uzbekistan when his attention was drawn towards inordinate delay in decision making about AMI system. ADB will provide 80 percent financing of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in Pakistan’s two power distribution companies including Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) and Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco). Lesco will be provided $300 million and Iesco $188 million respectively. The feasibilities for installation of AMI-metering and aerial bundled cables will be conducted in Peshawar Electric Supply Company, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, and Sukkur Electric Power Company.

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