ISLAMABAD - Despite having a bulk of about 10000 advance metering infrastructure (AMI) units purchased in 2006-7 still lying in Meter plant store behind head office building of the gas utility company Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC), the powerful management of the SSGC has approved a new tender for the new purchase of 10000 new AMI units, sources told the Nation on Friday.

According to details, the management of the SSGC has prepared a requisition of 10000 new AMI units to install in the residential units to upgrade the advance metering system but the sources disclosed that these AMI units will add ‘zero benefit’ to the company and the customers. The management of the SSGC in violation of the PEPRA rules has particularly mentioned the name of supplier (M/S Elster American Meter) and type of meter (AL-425 gas meter) on every page of the tender and the sources added that the cost of the said project is more than US$ 5 million.

The said tenders were opened on 1-1-2014 and only two companies named Pakmaco (local agent of the Elster American Meter) and a dummy fake company Power Trade participated in the bid, it was learnt.

In the tenders, the management of the SSGC has asked the bidder to suggest additional servers, IT hardware and software and this will require additional millions of dollars investment and new doors for corruption will open, the sources disclosed.

Similarly, the SSGC transmission network has not yet installed 10000 Elster gas meters and the SSGC metering system has no locations where such proposed AMI system would be installed, the sources added. Due to some difficult technical conditions placed in the tender documents, no genuine bidder has participated in the bid, the sources said.

This tender is a brain child of Irfan Zafar, IT head of the SSGC, and the sources disclosed that the winner of this bid Amir Burny of Pakmaco who is supplying Elster Meter to SSGC and SNGPL since last 15 years has close contacts with the management of the SSGC and in last October/November the MD SSGC Zohair Siddiqui and IT head of the SSGC Irfan Zafar visited South Korea with the supplier M/s Pakmaco.