Smart meters tender held up by new round of legal action

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 is set to be held up once again, following various obstacles in the past, as a result of top-tier legal action taken by a team comprised of OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidder.

The bidding team has filed a legal case to the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, in response to an announcement early this month proclaiming Intracom Telecom as the prefered bidder.

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

The legal action taken is expected to delay the tender by a few months. The matter is expected to have cleared up early in 2017. Barring any further unexpected developments, the winning bidder is expected to be announced days after the court verdict.

The project’s contract will then need to be endorsed by a supervisory council before it is signed.

According to the HEDNO schedule, an initial lot of 10,000 smart meters will be installed within a nine-month period, followed by a second round of 160,000 installations 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.

Besides the bidders which participated in the pilot tender, other major European and US firms have already expressed an interest in the project’s major tender.

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 Landis+Gyr.