Wellington technology company Abbey Systems has begun delivery of an $8m project that will supply a smart meter system to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BDPD).
The project is the second big win for Abbey Systems in Bangladesh, having successfully completed a $6.4m contract to provide a system to remotely monitor and control 34 electricity substations in the Chittagong region awarded in 2011.
Managing Director Lester Abbey, who founded the Wellington based company in 1978, says that one of the key factors in winning the contract was Abbey Systems track record in Bangladesh.
“Our successful delivery of the Chittagong project gave us a unique competitive advantage in bidding for this project," Abbey says.
"Because we have worked closely with the Bangladesh Power Development Board in the past, they know that we can be trusted to supply innovative and reliable solutions, as well as understanding the unique environment they operate in.”
Abbey Systems is the leader of a consortium of firms supplying the metering system, which will allow the BPDB to view metering data remotely in real time, as well as helping to locate illegal power connections, which are a considerable issue in a country where a significant amount of power and income is currently lost through these connections.
The smart meters will send usage information directly to the BPDB control room, enabling comparisons to be able made between how much energy is supplied in a given area, and how much energy is actually used by customers – helping to identify areas where there are illegal connections.
Since maintaining infrastructure in Bangladesh can have its problems, each meter communicates with control room through two paths: GPRS (a type of mobile data service) and WiFi.
The WiFi network is owned and operated by BPDB and the GPRS is owned and operated by a local provider - this diversity of paths ensures that at least one way of communicating with the control room is available at all times.
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“This project, and our previous success in Bangladesh, have shown that a small company, from a small country, can have a big impact and compete on the international stage," Abbey adds.