Political uncertainty behind digital meters tender extension

A number of companies interested in an international tender for the supply and installation of digital electricity consumption meters around the country may have cited technical reasons for a deadline extension they requested and will get, but the underlying reason for their need to delay the process is no other than the political uncertainty in Greece at present.

Major foreign companies will continue avoiding commiting themselves to Greek tenders concerning public sector projects, as well as investments in the Greek market, overall, for as long as conditions remain vague and a new bailout agreement is not reached by the government and the country’s creditors.

International investors have already made themselves clear on this through numerous other Greece-related business matters and are doing so again with the digital power meters tender, staged by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator SA, locally known as DEDDIE.

Essentially, investors have opted to hold on until June to see if a deal between Greece and its creditors is struck, and, on a wider scale, whether Greece will remain a eurozone member, before any investment decisions are made.

Had a decision to extend the HEDNO tender’s previous deadine of May 11 not been reached, bids would have probably been less lucrative than what is being hoped for, and restricted to small companies from countries such as China and India.

“We would have not wanted something like this. We have high expectations from this tender, so we shall see when a new date will be set,” a HEDNO official noted. “It will be set as soon as possible, possibly for beyond June.”

The project, a pilot program concerning supply and installation of 210,000 digital electricity consumption meters around Greece, has a budget of approximately 86 million euros.

The technology to be chosen for the pilot program stands the greatest chance of being reapplied for follow-up work as part of the wider plan, based on an EU directive, to replace 80 percent of old analog power meters in Greece, meaning some six million power meters, which makes this an extremely lucrative project. The pilot program’s tender has drawn interest from many major local and foreign companies.