Crete-Athens grid link omitted from Greek RRF proposal

A grid interconnection to link Crete with Athens has been omitted from a national plan containing 112 projects for which financial support will be sought through the European Commission’s Recovery and Resilience Facility.

It was the energy sector’s only surprise omission from the government’s plan for RRF support, to be submitted to Greek Parliament within the next few days for ratification before being forwarded to the European Commission.

Even so, progress of the Crete-Athens grid interconnection project, vital for Crete’s energy sufficiency without reliance on high-cost local power stations, will not be affected by the decision as a number of other financing options remain available, authorities have stressed.

These include the National Strategic Reference Framework and the Just Transition Fund.

The national RRF plan was discussed at a cabinet meeting yesterday ahead of its presentation, planned for tomorrow.

A proposal for a 200 million-euro injection into the RES special account, facing deficit territory, has been included in the national plan.

Other key features of the plans are: the country’s energy efficiency upgrade program for homes, businesses and public buildings; the decarbonization plan; installation of smart meters; upgrade and undergrounding of transmission lines; as well as development of electric vehicle recharging infrastructure.

Network damages remind of need for system upgrade

Power outages in many parts of Greece, including hard-hit Athens, as a result of collapsing trees that damaged overhead power lines during heavy snowfall earlier this week, have triggered discussion about the need for underground distribution networks and the network’s overall reinforcement and improvement.

Also, the installation of 7.4 million smart power meters, a project budgeted at 800 million euros, is a priority, distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO officials stressed in the wake of network damages inflicted by the snowstorms.

Distribution network investments have fallen behind over the past eight years, sliding from approximately 280 million euros in 2012 to 123 million euros in 2017 and 2018 before slightly rebounding to 135 million euros in 2019 and an unconfirmed 178 million euros in 2020.

This reduction in network investments by DEDDIE/HEDNO has stemmed from poor financial performances by parent company PPC, the power utility, during the aforementioned period.

“Ten years of economic crisis in Greece has led to slight infrastructure regression,” the recently appointed energy minister Kostas Skrekas noted late last night, while crews were working overtime to restore damages caused by Medea, as the extreme weather system was dubbed. “We have allotted 200 million euros of recovery fund money for underground cable investments,” the minister added.

Speaking at an energy conference yesterday, the ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou said government plans for an upgrade of the country’s power distribution network would result in investments anticipated to total 3.5 billion euros over the next decade.

China’s SGCC lodges complaint over DEDDIE sale exclusion

State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has filed a complaint with the European Commission after being barred by Greek power utility PPC from the sale of a 49 percent stake in its subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, over conflict-of-interest concerns.

The Chinese firm, a strategic partner of Greek power grid operator IPTO with a 24 percent stake, has forwarded a letter to Brussels claiming PPC’s block breaches EU law.

According to the sale’s terms and conditions, any company with direct or indirect control of IPTO or any of its subsidiaries cannot participate in the DEDDIE/HEDNO sale because of conflict-of-interest issues.

SGCC’s Brussels initiative highlights the Chinese company’s strong interest in acquiring a stake and role in the distribution operator’s network. The prospective installation of 7.5 million digital power meters at private properties around the country is the major draw for SGCC, sources noted. DEDDIE/HEDNO also plans to digitize and upgrade its outdated network.

PPC has extended its first-round expression of interest deadline to February 19. A considerable number of companies seem intent to participate.

 

Investment funds targeted in operator DEDDIE’s 49% sale

Power utility PPC’s forthcoming sale of a 49 percent stake in subsidiary firm DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, will not be limited to potential buyers with energy-market backgrounds, according to the sale’s terms, published yesterday, suggesting the seller is aiming to attract investment funds.

DEDDIE/HEDNO’s investment plan for the next five years is worth 2.3 billion euros, including 850 million euros for a nationwide digital power meter upgrade, an amount the government will seek to draw from the EU recovery fund.

Three major infrastructure funds have already expressed unofficial interest in the operator’s sale through a market test staged by Goldman Sachs, sources informed.

The sale is planned to take place over two stages, beginning with expressions of interest by candidates until a January 29 deadline, followed by a second round of binding bids from second-round qualifiers.

They will be given access to a virtual data room for evaluations before binding offers are shaped and submitted.

The government will aim to complete DEDDIE/HEDNO’s partial privatization in the first half of 2021, energy minister Costis Hatzidakis noted during an online Capital Link Forum staged yesterday.

 

Smart meter 6-year installation plan forwarded for public consultation

Details of a DEDDIE/HEDNO distribution network operator project for the replacement of parent company power utility PPC’s old power meters around the country with digital meters have been included in a five-year, 2.3 billion-euro development plan prepared by the operator, just forwarded for public consultation.

The operator’s power meter upgrade, a project budgeted at 850 million euros and expected to require six years for completion, is expected to draw from the EU recovery fund.

The project will entail procurement and installation of 7.5 million smart meters for low-voltage consumers nationwide, as well as their inclusion in a new telemetric center with a capacity to host 8 million points.

Consumers stand to benefit from smart meters as the digital technology of these systems will enable monitoring of electricity consumption patterns and levels through home devices or web applications. As a result, consumers will be able to shift energy-intensive practices to lower-cost time zones.

Electricity suppliers will also gain from the conversion to smart meters as these new systems will permit suppliers to shape demand-based pricing policies, offering flexibility to consumers for more competitive packages.

Energy ministry seeks recovery fund support for many domains

The energy ministry, seeking to ensure EU recovery-fund support for mature projects in key energy-related domains, has proposed their inclusion in a national plan whose first draft will be submitted by the government to the European Commission this month.

Greece is entitled to approximately 32 billion euros from the EU recovery fund, worth a total of 750 billion euros (390bn in subsidies and 360bn in loans) and established to counter the impact of the global pandemic.

Approximately 37 percent of the recovery funds will be used for green-energy development.

Energy efficiency upgrades of buildings; grid interconnections and RES initiatives, including energy storage; electromobility; nature protection; decarbonization; spatial planning for RES development; solid and liquid waste management; and smart power meter installations, a severely delayed project in Greece, are among the domains the energy ministry wants included in the national plan for EU recovery funds.

The energy ministry has previously sought support for some of these domains through the National Strategic Reference Framework.

A total of 130,000 efficiency upgrades of buildings have so far received subsidy support over a decade-long period through Greece’s Saving at Home program. The ministry is looking to significantly increase this rate to 60,000 upgrades per year through the recovery funds program.

Greece’s energy ministry will also seek recovery fund support for two major electricity interconnections – Crete’s major-scale interconnection,  to link the island’s grid with Athens; and the fourth phase of the Cyclades interconnection – both being developed by power grid operator IPTO.

 

PPC cautious with smart meter specifications following debacle

Power utility PPC is moving cautiously to set specifications for 7.5 million smart meters to be installed around the country following the debacle of a previous long-running effort, launched ten years ago, to no avail, for this mammoth project.

PPC and subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, have been given authority by the energy ministry to prepare details of a new tender for the procurement and installation of smart meters that will replace conventional power meters throughout Greece.

A number of sub-tenders may be staged, given the size of the project, budgeted at approximately 850 million euros, sources said.

Authorities are likely to launch the new competitive procedure towards the end of this year or early next year.

The competitive procedure for smart meters is not linked to another procedure concerning the privatization of DEDDDIE/HEDNO, sources clarified in comments to energypress.

Regardless of its forthcoming privatization, DEDDDIE/HEDNO is carrying on with a company plan to modernize and upgrade its distribution network and infrastructure, the sources pointed out.

HEDNO preparing to announce latest smart meters tender

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO is preparing to launch a latest tender, possibly within the next month, for the procurement and installation of 7.5 million smart power meters to replace conventional meters around the county.

The tender will also include a contract for the development of a telemetric center covering the entire country, sources informed.

Over the past decade or so, DEDDIE/HEDNO and parent company PPC, the power utility, have announced a series of tenders for the procurement and installation of smart meters, ultimately to no avail. They have either not taken place or not been completed.

The overall project, budgeted at 850 million euros, will mainly be funded through the recovery fund. The energy ministry has included the project with this fund.

DEDDIE/HEDNO and PPC are seeking to gain from various benefits offered by smart meters, including big cost savings for the corporate group, and added value to the operator’s facilities and distribution network ahead of a privatization planned by the government to offer a 49 percent stake.

The installation of smart meters also promises to help combat electricity theft and increase electricity market competition by enabling suppliers to charge customers based on real-time conditions with prices reflecting production and supply costs.

 

Network operator’s privatization may offer less than 49% limit

The government has set a 49 percent limit for the planned privatization of distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO but the stake to be offered may end up being smaller.

A DEDDIE/HEDNO stake of up to 49 percent and increased rights for investors will be placed for sale, while the operator’s majority and management will remain under the control of power utility PPC, the operator’s parent company, the group’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis noted in an interview published by Greek daily Ta Nea over the weekend.

The size of the DEDDIE/HEDNO stake to be offered to investors will, on the one hand, depend on the amount of cash required by PPC to resolve financial matters for a path towards recovery, and, on the other, the ability of potential buyers to meet the price-tag demands of a major privatization.

DEDDIE/HEDNO’s assets are estimated to be worth 3.2 billion euros, meaning a 49 percent stake should cost potential buyers over 1.5 billion euros.

PPC has commissioned Goldman Sachs and Eurobank as the privatization’s consultants. The power utility’s administration would like to find a DEDDIE/HEDNO buyer by the end of the year.

An ambitious ten-year business plan for DEDDIE/HEDNO, one reflecting the lofty demands of the National Energy and Climate Plan, is being prepared for presentation to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in about two months’ time.

DEDDIE/HEDNO will face the challenge of developing projects worth billions by 2030, including new interconnections and nationwide installation of smart meters.

 

Smart meters project plan tabled at PPC board meeting

The head officials of main power utility PPC and DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, have partially presented initiatives taken by the two firms for a major project entailing the withdrawal of the country’s 7.5 million conventional low-voltage power meters and replacement with digital meters.

However, this presentation, made at a recent PPC board meeting, was not completed as PPC board members deemed it should take place on a latter date, sources informed. Instead, the session focused on the presentation and endorsement of PPC’s financial results for 2018.

The plan for the project, budgeted at 1.2 billion euros, involves the establishment of a new DEDDIE/HEDNO subsidiary firm to take on the initiative, sources added.

The PPC and DEDDIE/HEDNO administrations anticipate major cost savings as well as an increase in the asset value concerning facilities and distribution networks once the new smart meters are installed. The new system is also expected to help clamp down on electricity theft.

Electricity market competition will also be intensified as the new smart meters will enable suppliers to charge consumers based on real-time conditions reflecting production and supply costs.

The country’s existing power meters are a PPC asset while the distribution network belongs to DEDDIE/HEDNO.

A previous effort to replace the country’s analogue-technology power meters was bogged down by various complications.

Operator awaiting court details to unveil new power meter plan

The chief official at DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, is awaiting the official cancellation of a failed tender launched over five years ago for the installation of digital power meters before presenting a new plan.

The initial tender, launched back in 2013 as a pilot program for the installation of a first lot of 200,000 smart meters in various parts of the country, proved fruitless after bidders legally challenged rival participants, and vice versa, halting the process.

Stefanos Oktapodas, the head official at DEDDIE/HEDNO, intends to present the operator’s new plan for the installation of 7.5 million digital power meters throughout the country, in place of the old conventional meters, once the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, delivers the finalized details of its verdict cancelling the initial tender.

An effort will be made for the local production of a proportion of the smart meters to be used, it is believed.

DEDDIE/HEDNO is considering establishing a special purpose vehicle (SPV), as a subsidiary firm, for the project.

 

 

Smart meters project dormant, PPC hesitancy not helping

A long-running effort for the replacement of 7.5 million old analogue-technology power meters around the country with new digital smart meters remains bogged down by various complications and is depriving the Greek economy of a mammoth investment worth around 1.2 billion euros.

According to sources, DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has remained dormant on the issue and, for the time being, is limiting its activity to occasional installations of new smart meters – from a stock of 230,000 meters acquired several months ago – at new buildings or older properties whenever requested by customers, for replacements of older dysfunctional power meters.

In an effort to invigorate the process, the operator’s deputy chief, Thanassis Misdanitis, tabled a proposal to the energy ministry last October entailing the establishment of a DEDDIE subsidiary to which PPC’s old power meters would be transferred as collateral to enable financing for the phasing out and replacement of these older meters. Their total asset value is estimated at 200 million euros.

According to sources, the energy ministry likes the idea but no progress has been made as state-controlled PPC has reacted against the transfer of its assets to another company.

It is believed the establishment of an SPV would lead to the installation of 7.5 million smart meters within five to seven years.

Both DEDDIE and electricity suppliers would greatly benefit. DEDDIE could limit leakages and better identify network faults, while power suppliers would gain the ability to offer consumers more competitive and flexible products adjusted to a greater number or customer profiles.

RAE reacts against PPC intention for smart meters role

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, appears set to take action against recent remarks by the main power utility PPC’s leadership, seeking active roles for the utility in the reshaping of a troubled model concerning the replacement of Greece’s conventional power meters with digital-technology systems and the project’s implementation.

Speaking at a recent shareholders’ meeting, Manolis Panagiotakis, PPC’s boss, made clear he wants a leading overall role for the power utility in this project.

A leading RAE official told energypress that the authority was troubled by the remarks as “a power supply company – regardless of the fact that it is the parent company of DEDDIE/HEDNO, Greece’s Electricity Distribution Network Operator – supports that it must have a say and role in the smart meters installation plan and all matters concerning the management of the distribution network.”

The RAE official contested that the power utility has no right to intervene and comment on whether power meters will be replaced and in what way, as well as on any other issues within the operator’s realm of responsibility.

A PPC official countered that it would be preferable if the authority’s annoyance was directed at the project’s major delay, adding that related decisions made until now have not managed to overcome problems amid a changed environment in order to enable the project to progress.

Panagiotakis told PPC shareholders that the power meters replacement plan needs to be re-examined virtually from scratch – regardless of the outcome of the project’s pilot plan.

PPC is seeking a leading role through this re-examination as the utility wants to secure an active role in the power meters upgrade, seen as a key aspect in the future developments of the electricity market.

The grid currently represents the utility’s biggest asset and could gain even greater value amid the wider scene being shaped by European policies and technological advancements, the CEO told shareholders. Subsequently, PPC and DEDDIE/HEDNO need to maintain their parent company-subsidiary relationship on matters concerning the grid’s development, modernization, efficiency, utilization and strategy, even if RAE does has a say in some of these issues, the PPC boss added.

According to the original plan, the entire project was scheduled to be completed by 2020, now ruled out as impossible.

The project’s total cost was originally estimated at 1.2 billion euros but this figure is expected to fall to a level of around 800 million euros as the technology to be used matures and related purchase prices deescalate.

The installation of digital power meters in Greece is both a necessity and obligation promising to radically change how the electricity market operates and offer benefits to consumers. The country’s lenders have demanded a clear-cut development time frame in the bailout agreement.

 

 

 

 

PPC to push for fully reshaped smart meters plan, active role

The main power utility PPC, in association with its subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO, Greece’s Electricity Distribution Network Operator, wants a troubled model concerning the replacement of Greece’s conventional power meters with digital-technology systems to be fully reshaped, and is also seeking an active role, the power utility’s CEO Manolis Panagiotakis told journalists yesterday on the sidelines of a general shareholders’ meeting.

An older pilot plan prepared by DEDDIE/HEDNO concerning the installation of 200,000 digital power meters as a lead up to the full-scale project has been severely bogged down by issues, including appeals and legal disputes between bidders, prompting the need for a new business model.

PPC’s boss attributed the disputes to the initial model’s scale, which he believes is over-sized and has therefore incited candidates to regard the pilot program as a preliminary step assuring contracts for the full-scale project.

In his comments yesterday, Panagiotakis said the staging of two or three smaller pilot projects in provincial cities could be a more effective approach. He also implied the procedure’s current model will need to be reexamined and comprehensively redesigned from scratch.

All possible models will need to be explored, including public-private partnerships, the PPC boss told.

As was recently disclosed by energypress, French electricity distribution network operator ENEDIS has expressed an interest to take part in such an entrepreneurial team for the installation of digital power meters.

According to the original plan, the entire project was scheduled to be completed by 2020, now ruled out as impossible.

The project’s total cost was originally estimated at 1.2 billion euros but this figure is expected to fall to a level of around 800 million euros as the technology to be used matures and related purchase prices deescalate.

The installation of digital power meters in Greece is both a necessity and obligation promising to radically change how the electricity market operates and offer benefits to consumers. The country’s lenders have demanded a clear-cut development time frame in the bailout agreement.

 

 

 

 

France’s Enedis wants role in derailed smart meters project

French electricity distribution network operator ENEDIS has expressed an interest to take part in an entrepreneurial team for the replacement of Greece’s conventional power meters with digital-technology systems.

An older pilot plan concerning the installation of 200,000 digital power meters as a lead up to the full-scale project has been severely bogged down by issues, including appeals and legal disputes between bidders, prompting the need for a new business model.

According to the original plan, the entire project was scheduled to be completed by 2020. DEDDIE/HEDNO, Greece’s Electricity Distribution Network Operator, is now aiming to launch the project’s development, based on a new business model, within the current year, if possible.

Just days ago, a team of leading ENEDIS officials, joined by French energy regulatory authority officials, travelled to Athens to offer a detailed presentation of their proposal to DEDDIE/HEDNO, RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) and energy ministry officials. Based on a model already implemented in France, the plan would bring together the public and private sectors for a joint venture.

DEDDIE/HEDNO would hold a stake of no less than 51 percent in this venture, while the rest of the team would be comprised of private-sector firms selected through an international tender and banks. ENEDIS is striving to be included in this framework. The European Investment Bank (EIB), which has previously supported other DEDDIE/HEDNO infrastructure projects, is believed to also be interested.

The French model, initially discussed by French President Emmanuel Macron during an official visit to Athens last September, appears to have convinced the heads at Greece’s energy ministry and RAE. However, final decisions have yet to be reached. The main power utility PPC has expressed reservations, if not objections.

According to the French proposal, a business team, joined by the operator – DEDDIE/HEDNO in Greece’s case – would take on financing, procurement and installation of the digital power meters. Also, consumer repayment of the part of the project’s cost not covered by EU development fund subsidies would be delayed by a few years in exchange for a predetermined interest rate. Once consumers eventually begin servicing the repayment process, a reduction of overall consumer energy costs can be anticipated as a result of energy savings promised by the smart meters. Network surcharge increases, it is estimated, will be offset by electricity bill amount reductions, according to the French proposal.

The project’s total cost is currently estimated at 1.2 billion euros but this figure is expected to fall to a level of around 800 million euros as the technology to be used matures and related purchase prices deescalate.

The installation of digital power meters in Greece is both a necessity and obligation promising to radically change how the electricity market operates. The country’s lenders have demanded a clear-cut development time frame in the bailout agreement.

 

 

 

Smart meters delay prompts private-public sector model

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator SA, locally acroymed DEDDIE, has worked on a new business model to bring together the private and public sectors for supply and replacement of the country’s conventional power meters with new-tech digital versions.

The need for a new business model was sparked by inefficiencies and major delays encountered through a competitive bidding process used for the project’s pilot program, entailing supply and installation of 200,000 smart meters.

A tender for this pilot stage was launched in 2014 and has since been bogged down by seven legal cases filed by three participating teams – ΟΤΕ, Intrakat-Intrasoft International; Intracom Telecom and a Microdata – SMEC partnership.

The new approach was forged through collaboration between HEDNO and French network operator Enedis. It has already been presented to the main power utility PPC. A presentation was offered to energy minister Giorgos Stathakis on Friday.

The project’s original schedule, which had envisioned the installation of smart meters for the entire country by 2020, is no longer feasible. HEDNO is now aiming to launch the project, based on the new business model, within the current year. A total of 7.5 million smart meters will eventually be installed.

HEDNO is expected to take part in the private-public sector venture with a stake of no less than 51 percent. Private-sector firms, to be selected through a competitive process, as well as banks, are expected to be on board. The involvement of the European Investment Bank (EIB), which has financed other infrastructure projects developed by HEDNO, is seen as a certainty.

The project’s budget is currently estimated at 1.2 billion euros. However, a drop to 800 million euros is expected as a result of an anticipated decline in prices for smart meter technology during the time it will take to develop the project.

The installation of smart meters, both a need and bailout obligation for the country, promises to change the electricity market’s operating nature and offer benefits to consumers.

 

 

Procedures for 7.5 million smart meters ‘to begin in 2018’

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, locally acronymed DEDDIE, intends to begin proceedings in 2018 for the replacement of 7.5 million conventional power meters with smart meters, the operator’s president Nikos Hatziargyriou noted during an interview at European Utility Week, a key annual energy-sector event.

An international tender for a pilot program concerning the replacement of 200,000 old meters has been completed but this preliminary stage of the overall project has been held up by legal complexities involving the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court.

HEDNO is currently preparing a national rollout plan for the installment of 7.5 million smart meters around the country over the next few years, Hatziargyriou informed.

The HEDNO boss also told that he envisions the operator becoming one of Europe’s ten leading distribution system operators based on a combination of quality services, low cost and environmental protection awarness.

Cooperation and exchange of knowhow with leading European operators, the objective being to explore opportunities offered by innovation and new technologies, is a key concern at HEDNO, Hatziargyriou pointed out.

DEDDIE is also exploring a“smart island” plan entailing major RES penetration at levels of over 60 percent on non-interconnected islands and use of storage cells to cover needs for considerable time periods each year, the operator’s head noted, while admitting this represents an ambitious plan which, to the best of his knowledge, has yet to be implemented anywhere on any non-interconnected island.

Smart network development to dominate Enedis, DEDDIE talks today

Leading officials of French electric grid operator Enedis, a subsidiary of French electric utilty EDF, are scheduled to meet today with the chief of HEDNO, Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator SA, in Athens for a session to be dominated by the prospects of digital technology development in electricity networks.

Though the meeting coincides with President Emmanuel Macron’s official two-day visit to Greece, concluding today, it had been arranged prior to the official announcement of this trip by the French leader.

Christian Buchel, the deputy at Enedis, and other company officials will meet with HEDNO president Nikos Hatziargyriou.

A major player in its field, Enedis operates low and medium-voltage networks measuring over 1.3 million kilometers and employs approximately 35,000 persons.

The global development of “smart” digital systems in the electricity networks field is expected to constitute a key part of the talks between Buchel, Hatziargyriou and other officials. The two sides will discuss the prospect of working together for development in this sector.

The use of digital technology systems for electricity networks is widely seen as necessary for the improvement of network management, optimal incorporation and penetration of RES systems, better overall efficiency and more active consumer roles.

Besides his deputy role at Enedis, Buchel is also president of the European Distribution System Operators’ Association for Smart Grids, supporting the development of smart networks. HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, is also a member of this assoication.

Digital meters tender appeal rejected, high court to decide

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has rejected an extrajudicial initiave taken by a consortium comprised of OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidder of a pilot tender concerning the procurement and installation of an initial lot of 200,000 digital power meters for low-voltage household and small-scale commerical use in various parts of the country.

A final decision is now expected from the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, following a case filed by the trio against Intracom Telecom, the tender’s winning bidder.

The Supreme Court accepted a legal case filed by OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International in March and sought clarification from HEDNO on its decision to delare Intracom Telecom the tender’s winner. Two key issues concern the Council of State. It has sought confirmation from the winning bidder on the inclusion of an option for the procurement and installation of an additional 50,000 digtal power meters besides a basic plan for 160,000 meters. The court has also sought further details as to whether the offer made by the winning bidder is unusually low, as claimed by the losing OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International consortium.

Intracom Telecom submitted a 46 million-euro offer to take on the smart meters pilot project, compared to a 62 million-euro offer made by OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International.

The pilot tender is being staged as a prelude to the project’s main tender, entailing the procurement and installation of approximately six million digital power meters throughout Greece. This project’s budget is estimated to be worth over one billion euros.

The initial tender is of crucial importance as two technologies, power line carriers and wireless GPRS/3G systems, will be tested ahead of the main tender.

 

 

PPC chief discusses new smart meter facility at CMEC meeting

The main power utility PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, accompanying Greek Prime Minister Alexis on a trip to China for the country’s Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a premier diplomatic event, has held a series of meetings with key Chinese energy-sector figures.

Panagiotakis’s meetings, according to a PPC statement, included a session with CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation) president Zhang Chun as well as other highly-ranked officials of the Chinese company.

CMEC has been exploring the possibility of collaborating with PPC for the development and operation of Meliti II, a prospective carbon-fired power station in northern Greece. Other senior PPC officials joined the utility chief for the CMEC meeting, dominated by talks concerning the Meliti II project. The meeting was described as a constructive session.

The two sides also discussed the prospect of jointly developing a smart meter production facility in Greece, which would serve both the local and foreign markets. This facility would create as many as 400 jobs, according to the Greek power utility.

PPC and CMEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last September for the Meliti II project.

Court accepts case against smart meters tender winner

The Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, has accepted a case filed by OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidding team of a pilot tender concerning the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 digital power meters in various parts of the country. This development challenges a decision by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, to declare Intracom Telecom, the tender’s other participant, as the winning bidder.

The court’s decision, announced yesterday, suspends a previous ruling by HEDNO, announced on January 12, which rejected a preliminary appeal filed by the losing bidder.

As HEDNO took some time to respond to this appeal, the trio to interpret the lack of a response as a silent rejection and subsequently filed a legal case to the Council of State.

The tender, which has developed into an ordeal, will now require further time to be completed.

In its decision, the Council of State supports that the winning bid was incomplete as supply and installation costs for 50,000 smart meters were not included.

A budget worth 86.5 million euros was prepared for the pilot project. OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International submitted a bid worth 62 million euros while Intracom Telecom’s offer was worth 46 million euros.

 

 

Supreme Court verdict on smart meters tender next week

The Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, is expected to deliver a verdict this coming Monday on a legal case filed by the losing bidder of a pilot tender concerning the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters in various parts of the country.

The tender’s organizer, HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, recently rejected a preliminary appeal filed by a team comprised of OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidding team.

However, HEDNO took some time to respond, prompting the trio to interpret the lack of a response as a silent rejection. Subsequently, the trio filed a legal case to the Council of State.

If the Supreme Court ends up rejecting the trio’s case, then HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, will declare Intracom Telecom, the tender’s other participant, as the winning bidder.

Intracom Telecom submitted a 46 million-euro offer to take on the smart meters pilot project, compared to a 62 million-euro offer made by OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International.

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.

The pilot tender has been greatly delayed, prompting HEDNO to search for ways that could speed up procedures for the main tender.

Greece has promised the European Commission it will have completed the main tender by 2020. This schedule is linked to the project’s financing plan. The project’s budget is estimated at around one billion euros.

 

 

 

HEDNO rejects bidding team’s smart meters tender appeal

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has rejected a preliminary appeal filed by a team comprised of OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidder of a pilot tender offering a contract for the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters.

The bidding team had filed the preliminary appeal a while ago, but HEDNO’s delay in responding was interpreted as a silent rejection, prompting the trio to file a legal case to the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, in an effort to have the tender annulled.

This action promises to delay the procedure as a Supreme Court ruling is not expected before February.

If the Supreme Court ends up rejecting the trio’s case, then HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, will declare Intracom Telecom as the winning bidder.

Intracom Telecom submitted a 46 million-euro offer to take on the smart meters pilot project, compared to a 62 million-euro offer made by OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International.

Should the Supreme Court accept the trio’s case, the tender will need to be annulled and relaunched, which would prompt further delays to the overall procedure.

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.

The first stage of the pilot program, entailing the installation of 10,000 smart meters, is not expected to be completed before January, 2018 – if the tender is not annulled. The pilot tender’s other 190,000 smart meters will then be installed over a 15-month period.

Scientists warn of digital power meter radiation risks

A number of local scientists have expressed concern over the radiation levels to be transmitted by digital power meters, whose installation around the country is being planned by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator.

The operator has denied that the prospective system upgrade will lead to any public health dangers.

HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, is seeking to stage a pilot tender for the installation of an initial lot of 170,000 smart meters in various parts of the country. This pilot program will serve as a lead-up to the project’s full-scale installation, entailing the replacement of 7 million conventional power meters.

Speaking on local radio, Dr. Christos Georgiou, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Patras’s Department of Biology, warned that “smart” power meters would transmit health hazardous radiation at levels equivalent to those produced by mobile telephony antennas.

Dr. Georgiou noted that the use of digital power meters abroad, especially in the USA, is being viewed as extremely dangerous for public health, adding that wider reaction against the installation of such systems has already emerged.

On the contrary, HEDNO has rejected any health concerns linked to the use of digital power meters. The operator has informed that wireless GPRS technology will be limited to 20 percent of the pilot program’s 170,000 digital power meters, which works out to 34,000 power meters. The operator has noted that power line carrier (PLC) technology will be applied to 80 percent of the pilot program’s total number of power meters, or 136,000 power meters.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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 intital 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 biders 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 Landys Gyr.

Intracom Telecom winning bidder in smart meters tender

Intracom Telecom has emerged as the winning bidder of a pilot tender for the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters in various parts of the country with an offer of 46 million euros. The bids made were unsealed today.

The tender’s other remaining bidder, a team comprised of OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization), Intrakat and Intrasoft International, submitted a 62 million euro offer.

The procedure’s third contender, CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation, withdrew on the final stretch.

As the next step, HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator – locally acronymed DEDDIE – will hold a board meeting in roughly 15 days to declare the winning bidder, barring unexpected developments.

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

Once this stage has been reached, an intital 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.

Smart meters will provide consumers a real-time picture of their consumption patterns.

It appears that there is no holding back now following considerable delays and foot-dragging in recent years. Initial talks on the project were held in 2009. If all goes well, 200,000 conventional power meters will have been replaced within 2018.

Ultimately, 7.5 million conventional power meters will be replaced around the country through a major tender. Ranking as one of Greece’s biggest investment programs of the next few years, the power meter project’s initial budget is estimated at no less than one billion euros.

HEDNO has already begun preparations for the main tender, expected to attract the world’s biggest players.

 

 

 

Smart meter pilot tender offers of under €60m expected

Offers made for a pilot tender concerning the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters in various parts of the country are expected to reach as much as 60 million euros. The offers submitted are expected to be opened this Friday at the main power utility PPC subsidiary HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator – locally acronymed DEDDIE – organizer of the tender.

Considering the project’s initial budget, estimated at 85 million euros, pundits believe that an offer of between 50 to 60 million euros will be needed to secure the winning bid.

Two candidate teams remain in the running. OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization), Intrakat and Intrasoft International represent one of the formations in the race and Intracom Telecom is the other contestant. Barring any unexpected developments, the lowest bidder of the two will be awarded the project’s development.

The pilot tender has turned into somewhat of a saga. The bidding process, starting with offers concerning technical standards, was launched just over a year ago, on October 21, 2015. A series of appeals filed by candidates to the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court – they were ultimately rejected – following the submission of technical offers, slowed down proceedings. Later on, the Microdata-CMEC consortium was eliminated as its offer concerning technical standards was deemed insufficient.

If all goes according to plan from here on, the winning bidder is expected to be announced by HEDNO roughly fifteen days after the pilot tender’s offers have been opened up. A local supervisory council will then need to endorse the operator’s choice before finalized contracts are signed around late January.

An intial lot of 10,000 smart meters will need to be installed no more than nine months after contracts have been signed. A further 160,000 meters will be installed as a second stage over a 15-month period.

Initial discussions on replacing PPC’s conventional power meters had begun around 2009, possibly sooner.

 

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.

 

 

 

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.