United States Agency of International Development to roll-out Automated Meter Reading Project in Pakistan

Islamabad, January 17, 2013 (PPI-OT): The United States Agency of International Development (USAID), in its continuing efforts to assist government-owned power distribution companies (DISCOs) in loss reductions and revenue enhancements, is in the final stages of rolling out a nationwide installation of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) projects. Initially, the project would be targeting areas with high thefts and significantly high line losses.

The AMR would provide highly accurate electronic meter readings with very little human intervention, using computer technology to transmit meter readings data via GSM/GPRS and Radio Frequency. This would help DISCOs in monitoring the energy consumption trends among different consumer categories, understand consumer patterns, reduce electricity losses significantly and increase their revenues.

The installation of AMR meters would start in the first quarter of 2013. With the intervention approaching its installation phase, the USAID Power Distribution Program organized an AMR solution requirements workshop at Lahore. ITRON, the AMR system provider for DISCOs and their local partner MicroTech Industries (MTI) were also present during these workshops to demonstrate proposed AMR solutions to DISCOs.

The main objective of the workshop was to better understand and gather DISCOs’ business requirements. AMR project teams from all five DISCOs (Islamabad Electric Supply Company, Peshawar Electric Supply Company, Lahore Electric Supply Company, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company and Multan Electric Power Company) actively participated in the workshop. The delegations were briefed about the business requirements and how AMR implementation can be profitable for DISCOs.

This is the largest AMR rollout in Pakistan with almost 17,000 AMR meters being installed among all five DISCOs. Under this project AMR meters will be installed at feeders, distribution transformers, agricultural tubewells, general and high-end consumers, in areas with a high number of thefts and electricity losses. The project is being launched as a model for the five DISCOs to showcase the benefits of the latest meter reading technologies. The program would also facilitate in establishing methodologies for energy accounting and cost of service studies for DISCOs.

AMR experts from the USAID Power Distribution Program along with corresponding teams from all five DISCOs will be traveling to ITRON’s manufacturing facility at France on January 4, 2013 for Factory Acceptance Testing of AMR meters.

The project’s long-term objectives are to work with DISCOs to establish the viability and sustainability of this technology to ensure reliable and accurate billing for all customers. This technology can result in improved revenue, reduced losses and identify theft for DISCOs.

This is one among a number of engineering projects being implemented in partnership with government-owned DISCOs. Other projects include the establishment of Geographical Information Systems and highly accurate computer analysis of DISCO power systems and extensive training on their effective use. These systems will identify how to design a more reliable distribution system and determine the most economical methods to implement them. Distribution lines and meter installations will be extensively reworked under the program and power factor improvements to reduce technical losses, increase revenues, reduce demand and improve voltage. The USAID Power Distribution Program will also introduce new equipment specifically designed to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.

Besides AMR, smart metering and other hardware projects, the USAID Power Distribution Program is also providing trainings to DISCOs in strategic planning and change management, management development, planning and engineering, customer information system, lineman safety and skill enhancement, business planning and financial modelling, communications and customer outreach, gender equity and developing and training personnel.

For more information, Contact:
USAID Power Distribution Program
Zia Ur Rehman
Communications Manager
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92 51 2270911-916 Ext (106)
Fax: +92 51 8312997
Mobile: +92-334 513 0 950
Email: zrehman@pdip.pk
Web: www.pdip.pk

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