Digital meters tender delayed by losing bidder’s court action

OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International, the losing bidder of a pilot tender staged by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, for the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters in various parts of the country, has filed a legal case at the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, seeking to have the  procedure nullified.

It is believed this move will delay the long-running tender by at least a month as a Supreme Court verdict cannot be expected before February. If no further complications arise, HEDNOwill officially declare Intracom, the rival bidder, as the tender’s winning bidder. Contracts are then expected to be signed.

The OTE- Intrakat-Intrasoft International consortium had made a 62 million-euro offer. Intracom won the tender by offering to take on the project for 46 million euros.

Prior to resorting to the Supreme Court, a nullification request made by the tender’s losing bidder several weeks ago was left unanswered by HEDNO. This was taken as a silent rejection, prompting the legal action.

Certain pundits believe contracts will not be signed until March.

According to the HEDNO schedule, an intital lot of 10,000 smart meters will be installed within a nine-month period, followed by a second round of installations for the remainder over the ensuing 15 months.

Successful completion of the pilot program is expected to pave the way for the project’s major tender offering the replacement of 7.5 million conventional power meters with smart meters.

Standing as one of Greece’s biggest investment programs of the next few years, the power meter project’s budget is estimated to be worth around one billion euros.

Anticipating the project, main power utility PPC has announced it intends to establish a consortium with China’s CMEC for a locally based facility to produce smart meters. It would be the second such facility to operate in Greece, following that of Landys Gyr.