Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — (METERING.COM) — June 7, 2010 – Brazil’s state energy company Eletrobras has been awarded a US$495 million loan by the World Bank which will support the implementation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and other actions to maximize metered consumption within the group, among other projects.
Eletrobras’s Distribution Rehabilitation Project is aimed at improving the financial and operational performance and the commercial management of the company’s six distribution companies (discos) by reducing electricity losses, increasing bill collection rates, and improving quality of service.
The six discos, which are located in states in the north and northeast of Brazil, are Eletrobras Amazonas Energia, Eletrobras Distribuição Acre, Eletrobras Distribuição Roraima (city of Boa Vista), Eletrobras Distribuição Rondônia, Eletrobras Distribuição Piauí and Eletrobras Distribuição Alagoas.
The project has two components. The first component is service quality improvement and loss reduction and in addition to the implementation of AMI, will include distribution network reinforcement, and modernization of the discos’ management information system (MIS). The second component is institutional strengthening through the provision of technical assistance and other support in the areas of performance-based management, the management of environmental and social impacts and processes, and community outreach. In addition support will be provided to selected programs delivered at the company’s sectoral training and research center at Acre.
The AMI program will be aimed at large consumers at high, medium and low voltage, i.e. high and middle income consumers, with the primary purpose of eliminating non-technical losses and improving bill collection. These consumers are expected to account for 85 percent of the energy recovered. The remaining 15 percent involves regularizing energy services – through replacement of improvised line connections and the introduction of metering and billing – in low income, informal, usually peripheral neighborhoods that are in the process of being incorporated into the formal urban structure by municipal governments.
“With this support from the World Bank, we will be able to further leverage the professional management of our power distribution companies,” said acting president and technology director of Eletrobras, Ubirajara Rocha Meira. “This will certainly be an important reinforcement for us to perform the actions needed to strengthen these companies and improve the quality of service they provide.”
Eletrobras’s six discos supply electricity to over 3 million customers in some of the poorest regions of Brazil. While accounting for around only six percent of the country’s population, their total area of concession covers more than a quarter of its area.