Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) has emerged tops in metering progress performance rating report amongst distribution companies (Discos) carried out by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in its second quarter 2016 state of affairs of the electricity supply industry.
According to a statement by the distribution company, NERC’s report came on the heels of additional 100,000 metering plan for the remainder 2016 announced by the company at the recent power sector stakeholders it hosted in Benin.
The statement noted that NERC’s report showed that BEDC scored 65.30 per cent to emerge overall lead performer in metering progress aspect of the report, which indicates the percentage of customers metered.
BEDC added that it has been proactive in installation of meters having installed over 120,500 meters since takeover.
It has taken advantage of both the Industry CAPMI Scheme and own funded meters. More than 90,000 out of these have been installed in 2016 alone.
In its metering rollout plan for the rest of the year, BEDC said it planned to achieve 100 per cent metering of all Industrial and Maximum demand customers by the end of November 2016; installation of another 100,000 meters for domestic and commercial customers for the remainder of the year; extension of the existing Automated Meter Reading (AMR) capability to 3,000 maximum demand meters, and metering of at least 1,000 distribution transformers in order to adequately account for energy billing to customers.
To achieve the targets set, the company has in addition to the existing stock of 32,000 meters; placed order for another 45,000 units for distribution, while it has also recently re-engineered its metering process with a view to eliminating all administrative bottlenecks to reduce processing and installation time.
The company has also implemented some projects to ascertain the health of the customer meters; 100% recertification and rectification of existing Maximum Demand customers, massive meter sealing exercise for domestic and commercial customers. Prepaid Meters recertification and rectification exercise and shifting meters from customer premise to external visible locations/poles is on the way.
The company said it recently commenced installation of over 10,000 small high performing transformers called High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) to reduce technical loss and provide better quality of power to customers to enhance reliability.
In addition, BEDC disclosed that it has developed action plan towards reducing technical loss through capacity addition by implementing network improvement projects as described in its Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) plans. This includes the installation of power and distribution transformers, line refurbishment by replacing undersized/damaged conductors and HVDS deployment.
It noted that part of the challenges BEDC was facing in reducing technical losses ranged from; very long 33KV feeders with average length of 100kilometeres each causing high technical loses and poor reliability.
“Revamping of existing 33kv feeders transverse through difficult terrain: thick and mangrove vegetation, flooded and swampy forests with their peculiar vegetation management problems were also challenges”, BEDC added.
The company announced that part of key initiatives taken to improve operational and financial performance include; metering of over 95per cent 11KV feeders and over 120,000 customers including 4,000 covered as backlog at takeover and the introduction of High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) and pole metering.