Chinese company Shenzhen Star Instrument will set up pre-paid meters in 16 districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions to provide transparency in electricity supply, consumption and revenue.
The company on Wednesday inked a Tk414.82 crore contact with the Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd (Nesco), a state-owned firm responsible for supplying electricity in the region.
Nesco is one of six power distribution companies in the country.
In the first phase, Shenzhen will set up 140,287 meters at the customers' end which will include 1.31 lakh single-phase meters, 8,095 three-phase meters and 839 DCU (data collection unit) meters.
The main purpose of the project is to provide transparency, real time data access, versatile payment, collecting electricity bills from anywhere and reducing technical losses at the zero point.
The prime minister's Energy Affairs Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury emphasised consumer service and said all government initiatives will be in vain if users are not satisfied.
Among others, Power Secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed, Bangladesh Power Development Board's Chairmen Sayeed Ahmed and Nesco's Managing Director Zakiul Islam were present at the programme.
In September last year, Shenzhen and Bangladesh Rural Power Company Ltd (RPCL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a joint venture company to produce electric equipment and smart pre-paid meters in Bangladesh.
The company will be known as the Bangladesh Power Equipment Manufacturing Company Ltd.
Tk4 crore was proposed as the initial investment for the forthcoming company where RPCL's share is 51 percent and Shenzhen's 49 percent.