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.

Technical details of smart meter upgrade bids being assessed

Bids submitted by three corporate teams to an international tender for supply and installation of 180,000 digital power meters in a selection of areas around the country as a pilot program are now being examined for their technical details, the tender’s organizer, HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has announced.

Once this crucial stage has been completed, the financial offers of bidders will be appraised as the final step of the selection process.

Should no problems emerge during this advanced stage of the tender, which has been severely delayed following a series of deadline extensions offered to bidders, a winning participant, to be commissioned the job of replacing conventional meters throughout Greece, will be announced within the next few months. The nation’s upgrade to digital power meters, or smart meters, ought to have been completed about seven years ago.

The new system will offer consumers real-time updates on electricity amounts used and efficient monitoring.

HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, also plans to digitally upgrade its network with the installation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This strategically important project, planned for the next five years, will have a budget of about 55 million euros. A pilot program is currently in progress for two areas, western Thessaloniki and Mesogia, a wider region on the eastern outskirts of Athens.