A joint venture contract was signed between the two companies to produce prepaid metres
The country's first ever prepaid electric metre-manufacturing plant in Khulna will go into production in the second week of July.
The plant is to meet the high demand for prepaid metres and thus save foreign currency, reports UNB.
The authorities concerned have completed the necessary preparations for starting production at the plant, said Abdul Motaleb, secretary of West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDCL).
Official sources said the state-owned WZPDCL and Hexing Electrical Company Ltd of China have formed a joint venture company, 'Bangladesh Smart Electrical Company Ltd'. The Bangladeshi firm has a 51 percent stake in the company, with the Chinese holding a 49 percent share.
A joint venture contract was signed between the two companies to produce prepaid metres.
On September 2, 2018, the company got government approval with Tk28 crore.
The joint venture company will start operations from Mohammadnagar in Khulna city, and power company WZPDCL will set up a permanent factory at Sheikhpara in the city.
The WZPDCL is providing services to 11,53,849 customers in 21 south-western districts and 20 upazila headquarters.
As part of WZPDCL's decision to bring prepaid metre service to all its customers, they have set a target of providing prepaid metre power services to 14.68 lakh customers. A total of 1,54,864 prepaid metres have already been installed and the remainingt 13,13,136 will be installed by 2023.
To implement the Sustainable Development Project of the government, the government plans to replace 75 lakh electromechanical or digital energy metres with prepaid metres across the country.
As per the plan, the authorities concerned have set a target of installing a total of 2,87,00,000 prepaid metres across the country in fiscal year 2020-2021, and some 16,07,584 have already been installed. The remaining prepaid metres will be installed in phases.
Currently, the government has to import prepaid metres.
Once the plant goes into operation, it will help save a huge amount of foreign currency.
Abdul Motalib, secretary of WZPDCL, said the prepaid metres to be manufactured at the plant will be sold to customers at reasonable prices and will be exported as well.
He said some people are spreading propaganda against prepaid metres and confusing people about their use.
Engineer Mohamamd Shafik Uddin, managing director of WZPDCL, said prepaid metres manufactured at the plant will be readily available.