Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

24 August 2014

Ethiopian Electricity Goes Smart With New IT-Plus Meters

Hi-Tech Engineering Industry under Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) has started supplying the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) with locally manufactured smart electric meters, called It-Plus. The meters are centrally controlled to determine the amount of power an individual client get and to selectively turn off the power supply to specific clients on an individual level.

The meters are manufactured by the Hi-Tech Engineering using inputs from sister companies, Ethio Plastic Industries, Metal Fabrication Industries and Hibret Manufacturing Industry.

Hi-Tech was established in 2011 as one of the sister companies under the MetEC. The Company manufactures electronic and electromechanical technology products and gives services of Communication and surveillance system for defence and police forces including Ministry of Defence and Federal Police.

The deal was signed in 2003 between the Hi-Tech and EEU for the supply of the electric meters. The MetEC launched the meters at a ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel on Thursday, August 21, 2104.

It-Plus have home and industrial types, with the former selling for 2,500 Br and the latter for 13,000 Br.

"Each and every meter is controlled by a remote control station," said Tena Kurunde (Brig. Gen.), deputy general manager of the MetEC.

The new meters will enable power redistribution in times of power shortage and technical problems, according to Berihu Gidey (Leut), general manger of Hi-Tech Industries. The system also has intelligence value, Berihu said, as power blackouts could easily be achieved at a national level if the need arises.

The company supplied samples to the EEU, which were successfully tested, and the first batch of the meters will be delivered soon, according to Berihu.

The MetEC is an electro-mechanical contractor of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Up to now, Hi-Tech has supplied 10,000 transformers for the EEU and plans to establish a smart grid system at a national level. When the company starts manufacturing at its full capacity, it will manufacture 1,200 electric meters on a daily basis.

"The main advantages of the electric meter is that it saves electric power, especially for industries," said Bitweded Gebrealise, chief executive officer of the EEU Wire Business.

The new meters come adjusted to a three-phase electric power system, which reduces the processing time for industrial applicants, he said.

It-plus will replace the import of the electric meter, which the Country was importing, according to Tena.

"The next process will be the replacement of previously installed electric meters through different phases," Biteweded said.

Currently, the EEU has two million clients connected to the national grid.

DVentus Technologies Plc - which was established in 2005 with a capital of three million dollars - manufactured an electric meter reader, which it called Smart Meter, eight months ago.

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