Nine in fray for EESL smart meter order
Schneider Electric, Genus Power Infrastructures and HPL Electric and Power are among nine firms competing to supply 2.35 million smart electricity meters to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), said two people aware of the development.
EESL has called bids for this smart meters’ contract following the cancellation of a previous order to Indonesia’s PT Hexing because of concerns over its failure to meet the local manufacturing criteria. The other firms vying for the contract are Avon Meters, Linkwell Telesystems, Zen Meter and Allied Engineering Works.
India is rolling out the world’s largest electricity smart metering programme to reduce power theft and help the country’s struggling distribution utilities become more efficient.
The programme has attracted interest from the likes of Canada’s largest pension fund manager Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) as reported by Mint earlier.
“The above tender is still under process and active,” said an EESL spokesperson in an emailed response.
A Schneider Electric spokesperson declined to comment.
Genus Power Infrastructures Ltd, HPL Electric and Power Ltd, Avon Meters, Zen Meter, and Allied Engineering Works didn’t respond to queries emailed on Friday. Linkwell Telesystems’ spokesperson couldn’t be contacted.
Creating a smart meter architecture minimizes human intervention in metering, billing and collection process and helps in reducing theft by identifying loss pockets. It requires a two-way communication network, control centre equipment and software applications that enable near real-time gathering and transfer of energy usage information.
“Post the cancellation of PT Hexing contract, there was this immediate gap that had to be met and hence this tender,” said one of the two people cited above, seeking anonymity.
EESL had awarded the contract to a consortium led by PT. Hexing Technology and comprising Pal Mohan Electronics Pvt. Ltd, and Hexing Electrical Co Ltd.
The contract cancellation came in the wake of the Centre’s decision to restrict firms from countries with a shared land border from participating in bids for government procurement without approval from competent authorities, without approval from authorities.
India’s new public procurement rulebook calls for giving compulsory purchase preference to local suppliers.
The EESL spokesperson, however, said the ongoing tender was not in lieu of the cancelled PT Hexing contract and added, “The tendering process is part of our ongoing business cycle that is mapped to the vertical’s business plan.”