Bidder disputes in digital power meters tender to delay procedure

A tender staged by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, locally acronymed DEDDIE, concerning the supply and installation of 200,000 digital power meters in various parts of the country, as a pilot project, appears to be far from over despite an announcement released yesterday by the operator declaring that offers by the three bidders all fulfill the technical requirements.

Disputes, including legal challenges, are considered likely, if not inevitable. The Microdata-SMEC consortium, one of the tender’s three bidders, is already being targeted by its rival bidders. According to claims by CMEC-Microdata’s rival bidders, its proposal may be inadequate.

If the rival bidders submit an appeal and it is either rejected or ignored by HEDNO, they can be expected to follow up with legal action, which would bog down the tender’s progress for many months.

Besides Microdata-SMEC, the tender’s other two bidders are Intracom Telecom and OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International.

Regardless of the developing dispute, six months would be needed before work gets underway once the tender has been completed, to allow for agreements to be signed with winning bidders.

It is estimated that the tender, whose initial budget was valued at 85 million euros, will be driven down by bidders to a level of between 50 million and 60 million euros.

Based on the tender’s terms, the winning bidder will need to have installed 10,000 power meters nine months after signing the contract, a further 160,000 meters in 15 months, with an option for an additional 30,000.

Once the pilot program’s digital power meters have been installed, authorities will update their cost study for a major tender concerning the replacement of all old power meters around the country, a project whose budget is estimated at one billion euros, at least. It will be carried out gradually over the next few years.