The Minister of Energy and Water, H.E. Gebran Bassil, officially announced the approval of the Distribution Service Provider bid results in a press conference held at the Ministry of Energy and Water on November 29, 2011. The bidding process, ongoing since July 2010, successfully surpassed several milestones including bidder prequalification, tendering, technical and financial evaluation of bids, and re-bidding for one of the three Service Areas. The winning bidders have been selected and the process has now reached its final stage of contract signing. Per Minister Bassil, implementation of the Distribution Service Provider project is anticipated to begin in early 2012 .
The Distribution Service Provider (DSP) project aims at consolidating a number of currently outsourced tasks at "Electricité Du Liban" (EDL) in a new contractual framework to acquire a number of local operators, the 'Service Providers', highly professional and financially strong, able to invest, mobilize, initiate large-scale activities in networks operation and maintenance, design and engineering, network extension, installation of automated and remotely controlled metering, billing and collection services.
The project will lead to substantial reduction in capital expenditures and investment, and significant improvement in the efficiency of network operation, maintenance, and services, through the involvement of the private sector in the process, ensuring a breakthrough in customer services, a considerable reduction of technical and non technical losses, and full correlation of energy distributed, billed and collected for EDL debt minimization and elimination.
The DSP project will be co-executed with the Monitoring Center (AMI Project), with complete Billing and Customer Relationship Management systems.
NEEDS is handling the project through several major tasks as the initiation phase, to prepare EDL's infrastructure for this new plan. NEEDS' services have focused on all the required tasks starting with bidders' prequalification, the collection and integration of all relevant network data in an elaborate 'Data Room', the regional area subdivision process, the tendering process, concluding with the evaluation of bids and contract awarding. Currently, the selection and awarding of the most successful regional Service Providers, capable of executing the project, is under consideration.
Electricité Du Liban had awarded Near East Engineering and Development Services (NEEDS) the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Contract, including the preparation of the Bidding documents for the implementation of the Monitoring Center – a part of the Policy paper approved by the Government of Lebanon on June 21, 2010.
The AMI Bidding process will lead to the selection of a prospective bidder who will be awarded a contract to design and implement the desired AMI solution, taking into consideration the potential use of this platform for water and gas metering at a later stage. In conjunction with this AMI project, the Distribution Service Provider (DSP) Project, the implementation of which will be launched in the coming weeks, includes the replacement of all metering in Lebanon to automatic meters able to be controlled remotely through this AMI Monitoring Center.
Currently, NEEDS is managing the tendering process for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project. The AMI Tender will address the overall AMI functionalities and components including the System Architecture, the AMI Hardware, Software and Database requirements, the Communication Platforms, the Billing System, and the Customer Relationship Management System.
The system overall functionalities will allow for, among others, intelligent monitoring of consumption to accurately identify network losses, rapid outage detection to minimize customer impact, tamper/fraud detection, and power flow - financial transaction processing balance, providing the tools to locate and manage non-technical losses and improve revenue recovery.
In January 2012, Electricité Du Liban (EDL) launched the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Bidding Documents, inviting international companies in the Smart Metering and Communication field to submit their offers, and on June 18th, 2012, the Bid Opening meeting was held.
In April 2011, NEEDS conducted the 'AMI/Communications and Billing/CRM Seminar – Lebanon 2011' over eleven days with the participation of seventeen local and international companies in the Smart Metering and Communication services field. NEEDS shared its expertise and knowledge with the leading companies who presented their most current technologies and solutions in Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Communications, Billing and Customer Relationship Management Systems, in the presence of major Lebanese stakeholders in this field: The Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), The Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) and Electricité Du Liban (EDL).
The AMI/Communications & Billing/CRM Seminar that took place in Lebanon was a unique event that brought forth the latest innovations and solutions in the ever-evolving arena of AMI Communications, Billing, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
This seminar was part of a dedicated joint effort by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) and the Electricite du Liban (EDL) to implement an important phase of the 'Policy Paper for the Electricity Sector' that was approved by the Lebanese Council of Ministers on June 21st, 2010. Currently, MEW and EDL are proceeding with the 'Distribution Service Provider' Project (DSP). The bidding process was closed on April 21st, 2011 to outsource the complete distribution network services, including planning, design, expansion, operation and maintenance, metering, and bill collection. The project includes the implementation and replacement of all metering in Lebanon to automatic meters able to be controlled remotely through an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) System with all load management and control functionalities.
The companies that participated in the seminar were industry leaders and their valuable insights into the various aspects of the AMI arena provided a great opportunity to explore the latest advancements that will help shape the future of the utility business in Lebanon.