India could completely shut out smart electricity meters from China who were eyeing a huge pie in 250 million units India has in mind by 2022.
As per the Mint,India is in the middle of a transformational move to replace its conventional meters with the smart ones, hoping it would reduce the debt-burden of discoms to Rs 1.38 billion. It’s a key to the proposed Rs 3.5 million distribution reform scheme—tentatively named Atal Distribution System Improvement Yojana (Aditya)—and cut power losses to below 12%.
A smart meter architecture is linked to the sensitive electricity distribution networks and a potential malware could play havoc in the system. The Union power ministry hence is not in favour of state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) to use Chinese meters towards the smart-metres vision.
Uttar Pradesh Power Corp. Ltd has already scrapped a consignment of Chinese smart meters being procured by EESL. The tender awarded to Indonesia’s PT Hexing to supply 2 million smart meters has also been put on hold by the EESL on concerns about its ownership. PT Hexing is said to be owned by Hexing Electrical Co., based in Hangzhou, China.
Besides, the tender stipulates that supplying companies must have local manufacturing plants which PT Hexing hasn’t done so far.
EESL is a joint venture set up by NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd, Power Finance Corp. Ltd (PFC) and Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd.