World Bank funding supports continuing AMR rollout in Honduras

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Rebeca Santos,
Minister of Finance,
Honduras
 
Tegucigalpa, Honduras — (METERING.COM) — January 27, 2009 – The on going rollout of automatic meter reading (AMR) in Honduras is to benefit from a new $30 million loan from the World Bank.

Currently AMR is being installed for large customers in order to reduce the non-technical losses due to fraud and billing errors. The plan is to complete AMR installation, allowing remote metering of consumption and disconnection and reconnection, for the existing 1,800 customers across the country in the “industrial” and “high consumption” categories. Thereafter the technology will be extended to residential and low voltage commercial customers, starting with customers with a monthly consumption above 400 kWh.

The Power Sector Efficiency Enhancement project (PROMEF), which is being supported by the World Bank, is aimed at strengthening the energy sector in Honduras and improving the financial and operational performance of the national electric power company, Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE).

The project has three components, of which one is to improve ENEE’s commercial and corporate resource management by providing the company with information tools for modern and efficient management of its customers and of the services it provides. In addition to the installation of the AMR, this will include the installation of a new automated commercial management system (CMS), the implementation of an incident recording management system (IRMS), and the development of a corporate resources management information system (CRMIS).

The second component is aimed at rehabilitating ENEE’s distribution regional sub-networks by strengthening the distribution grid, substations, and distribution equipment for supervisory control, voltage control and switching. This will include the replacement of transformers and other distribution equipment, as well as the acquisition of maintenance equipment and various spare parts.

The third component will strengthen ENEE’s institutional capacity and corporate governance. This will include an analysis of the long term financial sustainability of ENEE and the development of a strategy for the utility’s commercial operations, as well as the implementation of a customer communication, outreach and participation program.

“This operation addresses an energy reorganization strategy launched by the government, which requires streamlining the state-owned ENEE and further supporting new investments in renewable energy,” commented Honduran finance minister, Rebeca Santos.

The PROMEF project is due to start in June 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2013.

The AMR installation is expected to reduce the total losses from approximately 20 to 25 percent to around 10 to 15 percent. This is in line with the loss reduction program target of a reduction of total losses to 10 percent by 2013, while the non-technical loss target is a reduction to 2 percent by 2011. In 2007 the total system losses were approximately 21 percent, of which 10 percent were technical losses and 11 percent non-technical losses.