Serbia: Domestic smart meters producers seek support from gov for 80MEUR smart meters job in EPS

, News Serbia Energy

Domestic manufacturers of smart meters will send an appeal which will help that also domestic producers get work at the tenders for the purchase of “smart counters”.They will address the letter with an appeal to the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), Elektromreza Srbija (EMS) and relevant ministries.

At meeting of the Group of equipment producers for electrical measuring, Serbian Chamber of Commerce PKS, local manufacturers have said to expect from the relevant institutions to prevent the pressure of the consultants from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) for the announcement of the tender documents for these counters.

It should help that it does not happen that only foreign producers can meet the financial, technical and other parameters of the tender for the purchase of “smart counters”, at the expense of Serbian producers, it was said at the session.

It is expected to be announced the tender for the introduction of “smart counters” in EPS in November or by the end of this year, which will be financed by the loan of EBRD and EIB of 80 MEUR.

It is estimated that the value of the introduction of “smart counters” in Serbia, taking into account the situation of the power sector in Serbia, the number and types of customers and the state of infrastructure will reach 500 MEUR, while domestic producers are very interested in getting the job, because thus more than 1,500 jobs in Serbia have been opened directly and indirectly, pointed out representatives of domestic counters producers at the meeting.

Domestic producers usually do not get a job in tenders financed by international financial institutions such as the EBRD or the World Bank, due to the conditions of the tender, which cannot meet domestic companies, said a representative of the company “Enel” Dragan Vasiljevic. He said that it was necessary political and support and the Government of Serbia that domestic counters producers could get this important job.

He argued that the procurement of counters should have been done through more shares or lots, in order that domestic producers could have a better chance to get a job.

Vasiljevic said that the purchase of “smart counters” in the amount of 80 MEUR did not reflect the actual need of EPS and that these counters should have been introduced gradually, first in large industrial consumers, and that it was not necessary that such meters were introduced to consumers in rural areas and those who consumed little electricity.

He pointed out that the technology for “smart counters” was not “ripe” yet and that was constantly changing and improving, and that it was the reason why it was not desirable mass introduction, at once, of a large number of these counters. Also Germany, as he said, has not decided yet to do this and that state planed country plans more massive introduction of “smart counters” only in 2017th.

“Placing” the technical specifications of the tender for the meters procurement, so that domestic producers cannot obtain the job is a matter for the court, said the general director of “Energobull” Perko Krstajic and recalled that a number of tenders for the purchase of these counters has not been successfully completed in previous years.

He appealed to the EPS, as far now, not to ignore conversations with local counters producers and to involve them in the consultation on the preparation of the technical specifications of the tender which, as he said, ” in EPS bring the officials who just do not understand well in counters and who in the last 15 years have only added something new in relation to these specifications”.

Members of the Group of equipment manufacturers for electrical measuring of PKS advocated for non-discriminatory tender conditions for small producers counters, as well that the technical specifications of the tender would be known at the time that domestic manufacturers could be prepared to separate down whole job into sections in order that they could successfully compete for the job and that company which got the job also had service and control body in the territory of Serbia.

President of the Group of equipment manufacturers for electrical measuring electricity in PKS Jovan Vujasinovic told earlier for Tanjug that domestic producers prepared since 2010th to be bearers of mass use of “smart counters” in Serbia and that such a reference would have enabled them also to become exporters of domestic technology in Europe and the world.

Domestic counters manufacturers have invested with subcontractors so far over 15 MEUR in product development, equipping of modern production lines for the manufacture of counters components, laboratory testing, counters examination and verification, said Vujasinovic. In this way, as he pointed out, there were directly opened at least 300 jobs, with the subcontractors involved in the program, and the projection is that 2,000 citizens of Serbia lives of this work.