To help curb system loss, theft and to improve services, the government has taken initiatives to gradually replace all post-paid electricity metres with the pre-paid ones.
A total of 20 million household prepaid electricity meters would be installed by 2021.
As part of it, a move is in progress to install pre-paid meters for electricity consumers in Cumilla and Mymensingh regions.
State-owned Power Development Board (PDB) will implement the prepaid meter project, according to sources at the Power Division.
They said the PDB has already picked Shenzhen Star Instrument Co., Ltd through a tender process to supply, install and provide post-installation services to the consumers.
A top official at the PDB said the Chinese firm will supply a total of 150,575 pre-paid meters by December 2019 under the project which got approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in November 2013 with a total cost of Tk 132.49 crore.
German donor agency-KfW will finance Tk 104.04 crore while the government will provide Tk 18.26 crore and PDB itself will finance Tk 10.19 crore to implement the project.
Of the total pre-paid meters, 70,250 will be installed in Cumilla region while 80,325 in Mymensingh region.
A senior official of the Power Division said the tender proposal was sent to the Cabinet Division for placing it to the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase.
“Once the proposal is approved by the Cabinet body, the PDB will sign an agreement with the Chinese contractor to award the contract for the project,” he said.
He also noted the Chinese contractor will set up vending stations for re-charging the pre-paid cards and provide IT-related services for the next five years after the meter installation.
Power Division officials said the government is moving with a plan to replace all the post-paid electricity meters with pre-paid metres in order to digitalise the bill payment system.
The pre-payment system will substantially reduce the system loss and bring the bill default rate to a zero level, he said adding that the distribution companies like DESCO, DPDC, WZPDC and Nesco have already installed prepaid meters in major parts of their distribution areas.