Smart meters pilot tender on final stretch without CMEC

A pilot tender being staged by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator – locally acronymed DEDDIE – for the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters in various parts of the country has entered the final stretch without CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation), the main power utility PPC’s new strategic partner.

Bids submitted for the project, worth 86 million euros, are expected to be opened and assessed before the end of the year. Two of three starting teams remain in the race. OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization), Intrakat and Intrasoft International have joined forces to bid on the project as one corporate formation. They face Intracom Telecom as their rival bidder.

CMEC, which plans to proceed with a major investment in Greece for the development of a digital smart meters industrial facility as a collaborative effort with PPC, as was disclosed yesterday, had entered the tender with Microdata as its bidding partner. Nikos Bakoulis, a fomer president of Genop, PPC’s main union group, maintains business interests in Microdata.

However, CMEC-Microdata failed to make it through the tender’s earlier stage, last summer, involving technical assessments of offers. The CMEC-Microdata was deemed as insufficient.

Even so, CMEC appears determined to establish firm footing in Greece’s untapped smart meters market, as was highlighted by yesterday’s disclosure of the Chinese enterprise’s plan for a smart meters manufacturing facility in Greece with PPC as a partner for supply to the domestic and international markets.

The anticipated replacement of Greece’s 7.5 million conventional power meters with digital meters over the next few years represents a market worth about one billion euros.

PPC appears to be looking to secure a slice of this pie, which raises questions, as HEDNO, organizer of the current pilot tender and the full version to come for 7.5 million power meter conversions, is a wholly owned PPC subsidiary. HEDNO is also responsible for setting the technical standards that need to be met by power meters.