Serbia continues to invest in the energy sector and modernize capacities, News
The Republic of Serbia continues at an accelerated pace with investments in the energy sector and capacity modernization. Following the trends and needs of the domestic market, Elektrodistribucija Srbije recently announced a tender that plans to purchase almost half a million smart meters. This is the largest investment in the procurement of modern measuring devices so far, and the value of the project is one hundred million euros.
Our market is unique in that as many as three domestic companies are engaged in the production of smart meters, which together can continue cooperation with Elektrodistribucija Srbije and in the next year produce almost half of modern measuring devices.
Igor Vujičić, executive director of Meter&Control d.o.o. Belgrade and a representative of the domestic smart meter industry, explained that the project involves the production, delivery and installation of almost 500,000 smart meters on a “turnkey” basis.
The funds were provided through the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and the project is very complex. It is planned that the implementation of the project will last one year. By comparison, such large projects are usually implemented over a period of three to five years. Until now, 100,000 to 120,000 meters have been installed annually in Serbia through such projects. Montenegro, which has approximately 500,000 metering points, completed this kind of project in nine years, and Oman has foreseen a period of 10 years for the production and installation of 1,200,000 meters – explained Vujičić.
Vujičić explained that due to the complexity of the project, it is necessary to mobilize the entire production and contractor capacity in Serbia.
Three domestic producers can only implement this project with their combined efforts. Previous projects required a production volume of 100,000 meters per year. There is a big challenge ahead of us and one company cannot do it alone, so a consortium of domestic businessmen is needed here to complete the work. We, domestic producers of smart meters, are not only oriented towards the domestic market, but also export to ten countries, from South America, the European Union to the Middle East… Production works daily. Together, we can see off this project where the biggest challenge is production, and then installation – said the representative of the domestic smart meter industry.
Srđan Tepavac, director of Sitel d.o.o. Belgrade explained that everyone benefits from the replacement of old meters – both Elektrodistribucija Srbije, the market and the consumers themselves.
What makes modern measuring instruments different from the old ones is that consumers with modern meters have an insight into their consumption on a daily basis. There are different interfaces that will be available in the near future, users can download an application on their phone and monitor their consumption or production of electricity if they have solar panels or other types of renewable sources. Smart meters enable comparison of consumption with average consumption and more rational use of electricity – said Tepavac.
He pointed out that Serbia has always had a strong energy sector and that it is the driving force behind the development of a country, just like telecommunication and road infrastructure.
All other activities rely on these three pillars. Serbia has a developed domestic industry in the energy sector, especially in the electricity transmission and distribution sector, which has been maintained and, as far as I know, has a strong export potential. The implementation of such projects accelerates the development of the energy sector, enables the expansion of the team, the employment of young people who thus stay in their country and work on projects that their colleagues in other European countries are working on, and is certainly commendable.
By engaging domestic producers, taxes and revenues remain in our country and the potential for strengthening the entire society is created. Serbia has about three million consumers, and according to my estimation, in six to nine years, I think that the whole of Serbia will be covered by smart meters, and the complete replacement project is completely free for households – pointed out Srđan Tepavac.
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