Posted: August 3, 2023
A multimillion-rand project to build two Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) hardware mass production plants and thirteen distribution satellite warehouses will be rolled out across the country.
The project will be administered and managed by Madinda Utilities, a Pretoria-based AMI hardware manufacturer and utilities diagnostics specialist company that has over 25 years of industrial experience in utilities cost-optimisation, diagnostics, sustainable renewable energy resources hardware distribution, installations and administration. The company pledged an investment of R600 million at the South African Investment Conference that was hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Johannesburg in April.
Madinda Utilities is engaged in the deployment of the African Utilities Distribution Industry – Growth Portfolio Investment (AfUDI-GPI) project aimed at reducing municipal utilities’ revenue collection and distribution losses, Token identifier (TID) rollover deadline readiness calibration, distribution asset acquisition and asset exponentiation through the South African Municipal Bond market.
According to the Managing Director of Madinda, Mr Ogi Madinda, the purpose of the project is to roll out advanced metering infrastructure nationally.
“The end product consists of tamper-proof, state-of-the-art electronic/digital hardware and software, which combine interval data measurement with its continuously available remote communications. The system is the quintessential full measurement and collection system that includes meters at the customer site, communication networks between the consumer and their distributor, such as an electric, or water utility/distributor, and data reception and management systems that make the information available to both consumers and suppliers,” says Madinda.
He adds that the system will allow consumers to receive real-time energy pricing and offers from the utility to manage their meter. This will enable consumers benefit from lower bills, while utilities benefit from a stable load on the grid and less need to invest in expensive new capacity.
“This is a turnkey solution for efficiency in the energy sector in South Africa. The project will enable South Africa to manufacture its own smart-grid hardware, which is currently designated for local manufacturing and content and only available through importation, solve a national utilities distribution problem and enable the country to join the global supply chain in this sector by establishing its own mass production plant for DLMS/COSEM compliant AMI hardware,” says Madinda.
“Ultimately it will prevent outages, massive revenue collection losses and excessive load shedding with the following long-term benefits: utilities diagnostics integrity, distribution assets security and longevity, revenue collection protection and enhancement, increase in operational efficiency and performance, enhancement of customer service, demand response, demand-side management including outage detection and service restoration, enablement of customer engagement as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” he explains
The project’s deployment is the African Electro-technical Standardisation Commission’s (AFSEC) recommended solution to prevent the distribution system’s demise resulting in regular and intermittent black-outs, outages, massive revenue collection losses and excessive load shedding. Gaps to be addressed will include AMI migration, supplier development and localisation contribution, unemployment, skills development contribution and sustainable energy renewable resources distribution and installations, amongst others.
According to Madinda, the AMISA project has already been approved for grant funding from COP24’s Sustainable Development Goals to the value of more than $126 million.
The project will be rolled out in two phases, with the first phase expected to create 1 225 direct jobs, 2 770 indirect jobs in construction as well as 2 775 direct operational jobs with 26 576 indirect jobs. Humanitarian benefits will include directly addressing 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“The project will effectively revive the revenue collection systems of municipal distributors to profitability and liquidity; conduct continental hardware calibration and security compliance for the TID Rollover Deadline increase job opportunities, skills transfer and defuse poverty and achieve utilities distribution efficiencies for 186 municipalities and Small Scale Embedded Generation Interconnection Projects that will improve their category grading, rendering municipalities equitable, profitable and sustainable to their constituencies – allowing even the smaller municipalities to benefit from the South African Municipal Bond Market,” stresses Madinda
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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