EEPCo to replace all meters with smart ones

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Project will cost 9 bln br
The state power monopoly, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), awarded a nine billion birr project to the Metal and Engineering Corporation of Ethiopia (MetEC) to fully replace the existing post and pre paid electric meters with new “smart” meters, imported from India.
The two parties are in discussion to start planting the smart cards throughout the country. Based on the deal MetEC will replace the old, analogue meters that are read manually once every three months with new and digital smart meters that automatically capture information about electricity consumption and transmit it back to EEPCo.
According to sources, the metal corporation, formed by a collection of seven industries under the Ministry of Defence, already employed about 2,000 workers that will replace the existing meters with the new smart ones.
The employees who install the meters will be paid per piece installed in every household.  EEPCo has almost two million registered customers throughout the country.
Misikir Negash Public Relations Head of the Corporation said that the two parties are working on the details of the procedures. “Apart from that I cannot give you further details about the project because it is in its early stage,” Misikir added.
Smart Meters are different than pre paid ones because they have real-time sensors, power outage notification capability and power quality monitoring, which utilizes two-way communication between the meter and the central system. They can also be used as water meters.
In 2007 EEPCo announced that it completed preparation to replace all the existing post paid meters with pre paid ones. To accomplish this, EEPCo established Electrometer, a prepaid electric meter manufacturing company in 2008 with Elsewedy an Egyptian electric cable company. Electrometer was established with 88.2 million birr. It has a capacity of producing 20,000 prepaid electric meters annually.
Recently, MetEC also agreed with the state monopoly, to produce the power factor correctors, a device that ensures the efficient use of power. It will be installed in all industries in the country in the coming year. The metal corporation is also undertaking the electromechanical work of the Great Renaissance Dam project that is under construction by Salini Consturttori, an Italian construction firm, at a cost of 4.8 billion dollars. 
EEPCo requires a whooping 182.2 billion birr for power generation, transmission and distribution system expansion to achieve objectives envisioned in the country’s five year governing economic plan, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) that will be completed by 2015. From a total amount of envisioned budget, the biggest share of 122.8 billion birr will be committed to constructing dams and harnessing other power generation schemes such as geothermal, wind and solar powers.