31 July 2006

Nigeria: Chinese Pre-Metering Firm to Set Up Factory in Nigeria

Port Harcourt — Giant Chinese pre-paid metering company, "Shenzhen Star Instruments Company Limited" is to set up a factory in Nigeria which will provide at least 1,000 job opportunities, the Sub-Saharan African representative and Chief Executive of Electrictel Nigeria Limited, Prince Aloysius Mba has said.

He said the expected period for the completion of work on the site for local production, they were targeting June 2007, hoping that the approving authorities would give consent speedily.

Mba who spoke to THISDAY in Port Harcourt shortly after the celebration of the success off the pre-trial stage of the pre-paid electricity meters in the zone said he has concluded with the company on all modalities of setting up the factory.

According to him, the factory would have taken up more hands but for the fact it was fully automated, but however pointed out that transfer of technology, introduction of at least 35 percent local content and the possibility of earning foreign exchange through export were high.

He however noted that he was waiting for the approving authorities to return their papers to them for the industry which he said would be sited either in the South-South zone or the South East zone where lands have been acquired awaiting the approvals.

Mba also stated that he was working in partnership with Intercontinental Bank Plc which is injecting over N1 billion in the second phase that would see 15,000 of the electricity meters being distributed in the Port Harcourt zone alone.

He stated that the Chinese firm was the largest pre-paid metering company in Asia and has an annual production capacity of 10 million with their products in use in over forty countries including some African countries like Egypt and Algeria.

On the strength of material of the Chinese product, Mba said that before the pre-trial stage, it had passed all the Power Holdings of Nigeria testing stations and qualified before it was brought to the public for installation.

On the advantages of the meter, he said that it improves revenue for the energy providers and ensures that customers paid for only what they consumed while it also ensures that consumers plan their energy expenditure.

Other advantages he said was that load shedding would no longer occur since the configuration enables loads to be controlled while stealing of meters would be a thing of the past.

Apart from electricity meters, he said they were also into gas and water metering production which the factory in Nigeria shall have the full compliments of their productions.

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