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ASIAN FOCUS Karachi embracing smart technology to reduce system losses and improve revenue recovery Briefly put: The introduction of smarter processes, a completely new level of engagement with stakeholders, and targeted investment has made K-Electric profitable for the first time in more than 17 years. K-Electric Limited (KE), previously and significant stakeholder known as KESC, is the only engagement, in addition to privately held vertically integrated investment in core generation power utility in Pakistan. It has an infrastructure that allowed KE installed generation capacity of to make a profit in FY 2012 for 2 340 MW, manages the the first time in 17 years,” Akbar transmission of nearly 5 000 MVA continues. and distributes electricity to 2.4 million customers in its licensed The organizational redesign area covering the city of Karachi was initiated through a pilot and the surrounding areas of Sind operating model which merged and Balochistan. The Industrial the commercial and technical Jamil Akbar, Director – Business sector accounts for 36% of energy Strategy, K-Electric operations across a geographic consumption, followed by the area; provided qualified Residential segment at 34%, Commercial employees through an internal screening and the Public Sector accounting for process; revamped offices and customer 15% each. In the financial year 2013, KE service centre; improved intelligence provided 15.16 million KWh of electricity with transformer meters; and a KPI based and distributed 10.94 million KWh (having a incentive plan was also introduced so as to peak demand of almost 2 800 MW). keep things in check. The successful results led to a rollout across the city. Speaking Says Jamil Akbar, Director – Business about the success of the programme, Strategy: “The transmission and Akbar says: “Two thirds of the city has now distribution (T&D) losses have been brought T&D losses below 18% and recoveries down significantly over the last five years, close to 97%, with industrial areas having reducing from 35.9% (FY 2009) to 25.1% 100% recoveries. The application of (12 months to 31 March 2014), but there is load management based on losses and still need for further improvement.” recoveries has had a significant impact in incentivizing positive consumer behaviour.” KE has managed to achieve this level of success in T&D loss reduction through a “KE still has significant challenges due comprehensive turnaround plan that was to the high tariffs resulting from thermal driven by The Abraaj Group when it took based generation and security issues in over KE in 2009. various parts of the cities where recoveries remain low due to the tense law and order “The initiatives included increased situation. Here we have various initiatives accountability, organizational restructuring, being piloted including Aerial Bundle Cable business process re-engineering, an (ABC) and a franchise type arrangement overall change management programme with local service providers who are better positioned to work with local communities for recoveries.” International that the KE distribution’s Smart Grid Initiative is “a key strategic initiative to establish KE as a commercially feasible, best-in-class utility, serving as a role model for utilities in the country and the region. KE’s biggest defaulter of a mesmerising PKR 24 billion is a public sector consumer (Karachi Water & Sewerage Board) – due to which it remains a key financial challenge for K-Electric. The project aims to reduce aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses through improved energy monitoring (impact on the economic viability of the company) and through a Distribution Network Management System to improve operations and reduce network outage response time (operational efficiency and improved customer service). With the increased visibility over its distribution network and detailed measurements on its distribution nodes, KE will further enhance its planning and load management capabilities. KE is moving forward with this project with an Oracle MDM, Oracle NMS, being implemented by InfoTech Pakistan and will be integrated with SAP IS-U and Iskraemeco’s SEP2W which are already in use by KE. Further, local metering options will be incorporated. (Currently, Pakistan’s customs duty structure makes international meters unfeasible for a larger rollout). The scope of the project will cover the installation of smart meters and introducing an IT platform that allows for remote data management and analytics. Replacing existing standard meters on all energy nodes within the identified cluster will improve network visibility, enabling KE to manage current and future energy demands systematically. The IT platform will allow KE not only to enable remote Speaking about the future of the KE distribution Grid, Akbar tells Metering 40 METERING INTERNATIONAL ISSUE - 2 | 2014