• Russia / CIS

     

  • Russia / CIS

     

  • Russia / CIS

     

  • Russia / CIS

     

  • Russia / CIS

     

  • Russia / CIS

     

History

Visual
VisualA History of Commercial Metering in Russia
The Leading Role of Elster Metronica (formerly ABB VEI Metronica)

Before 1994, there were no noticeable steps taken in Russia in integrating modern commercial metering technology into commercial electricity metering, neither in utilities nor industrial enterprises. In the first place, this was due to the emergency conditions of economic reform in the country and in the privatization processes gaining importance, issues of quality metering for energy resources, meaning mostly electricity, gave way to general economic problems of enterprises’ transition to working in market conditions.

In addition, manufacturers themselves and providers were in no hurry to offer Russian clients solutions and equipment necessary for organizing commercial metering. The technological base of Russian manufacturers did not allow such production to be rapidly integrated, and meanwhile, western companies were only researching the prospects of the Russian market and were sparsely represented.

The situation changed only in 1994, when ABB VEI Metronica joint venture was established. The participants were - international concern ABB and the All-Russia Electro-technical Institute (VEI). At the time, ABB already had considerable experience in working on the Russian market, and the participation of VEI specialists helped develop the only reliable concept for electricity metering in Russia. This period saw a certain growth in the country’s economy and the latest developments by ABB in electricity metering (ABB was the world leader in the electricity, heat and water metering sphere) turned out to be very much in demand in Russia.

The new company ABB VEI Metronica introduced a unique development into the Russian market – microprocessor, multi-tariff, highly accurate ALPHA meters. The new product immediately drew the attention of Russian clients, and 1994 the first contracts ALPHA meters for the largest energy concerns and the oil and gas industry, for example, Irkutskenergo.

In 1995, the company opened its first production plant in Moscow, on the territory of VEI. This allowed significant reduction in equipment prices and the time needed to fill orders; furthermore, it was one of the first initiatives in Russia to integrate state-of-the-art western production and quality control technologies.

In 1996, the second full year of the company’s work in Russia, ABB VEI Metronica, gained a 30% market share in the high accuracy metering segment. The same year, a new vector was initiated in both the company and the field – digital automated commercial metering systems (AMR). The first AlphaMET software in Russia was developed, which allowed to fully actualize the functional capabilities of microprocessor meters in terms of data processing and transmission in digital form. At the same time, the first AMR projects were actualized in Noyabrskneftegaz (with more than 500 ALPHA meters in the system) and Tyumenergo (approximately 4000 meters in the system). These projects demonstrated the high reliability and efficiency of digital AMR, which in many ways predetermined the development of this market in Russia.

According to results in 1997, the company’s turnover exceeded $5 million, and the market share for devices and systems neared 50%. One of the reasons for this success was the launch of production of a new generation of ALPHA-series meters – AMC (EuroALPHA), which is still very popular among clients in Russia. The same year, work was begun in integrating state-of-the-art billing equipment on the largest railways in the Transport Ministry system (Oktyabrskaya Railway). The success of ALPHA meters moved Russian manufacturers to retool their product policy, and meters started to appear which emulated the concept and structure of the company’s systemic solutions. In this way, Russian manufacturing received an inducement to develop and improve the technology to world standards.

In 1998, the company entered the household and small-motor market with the Delta meter; previously, ABB VEI Metronica clients were mainly large utilities, transport and industrial firms. In the same year, work in developing electricity metering systems continued.

The result of this work in 1999 was introduction of the Alpha SMART AMR system, based on using the latest RTU 300 data acquisition and transmission units and the capabilities of ALPHA meters. The same year, another product was added to the ALPHA meters – the ALPHA Plus meter with the capability to measure and control electricity quality indicators. However, the main event for 1999 was undoubtedly the opening of the ABB VEI Metronica plant, the production capacity of which allowed the manufacture of 100,000 microprocessor meters a year. The new equipment and production base allowed the company to consolidate its grip on the markets of CIS countries. The company opened service centers in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

2000 was no less a significant year in the company's history. The company began export supply of meters and equipment to European, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries, and by the end of the year, this comprised a 10% portion of the company’s turnover. Moreover, ABB VEI Metronica began supplying ABB heat (F3R) and water (S100, MagMaster) meters in Russia, and began production of the economical household A100 meter. The main event of the year became the completion of one of the company’s most complex AMR projects for the Oktyabrskaya Railway (more than 2000 ALPHA meters and several data collection centers). This project utilized the brand-new Alpha CENTER metering system technology, based on state-of-the-art engineering and programming solutions.

In 2001, metering systems' system requirements were finalized for work with FOREM, and this was the impetus for industrial and energy firms to integrate up-to-date metering systems. 2001 saw the completion of such large and in many ways spearhead projects such as an energy metering system in Armenia, Center for synchronous interconnection of electricity systems RAO UES Russia and the Druzhba oil pipelines. The year saw the company's turnover exceed 11 $ million. One of the important events in 2001 was the establishment of the first information center for the entire energy resources metering field Izmerenie.ru, which includes a magazine of the same name, the Internet portal www.izmerenie.ru and a mailing on news in the field by e-mail.

In 2002, long-standing ABB VEI Metronica solutions in the AMR development field brought about the creation of a series of new data acquisition and transmission units that meet the most contemporary requirements for metering systems - the RTU325 and RTU327 (PromPC). The same year, the company arranged for the manufacture of Complex Metering Unit (CMU) at the plant in Moscow, as the most promising course in improving the reliability of metering systems. CMU boxes assembled at the plant according to clients’ individual specifications improves the system reliability and reduces equipment mounting time and time to launch. As well, in 2002, ABB VEI Metronica completed metering system for the Dneprovsk Cascade in Ukraine and began to actualize a unified electricity metering system for the Rosenergoatom concern. In 2002, the system business provided over half of the company’s yearly turnover - $13 million. The same year saw the establishment of the first non-commercial partnership in the electricity metering equipment field manufacturers – Uncommercial Partnership "ASKUE" (AMR in Russian).

2003 saw a turning point in company history. The consolidation of the ABB Metering segment (electricity, heat and water metering devices and systems) and Ruhrgas Industries (gas metering devices and systems) brought about the formation of the largest metering company in the world for all types of energy resources. The company changed its name: it became known in the world as Elster Metering, and its division in Russia was called Elster Metronica.

Today, with its new partner, Elster Metronica is developing the first integrated electricity, heat, water and gas metering system in the world on the basis of Alpha CENTER technology. This system will utilize state-of-the-art equipment, software, telecommunications and computer technologies to provide for the growing demands of industrial and energy firms, as well as the household sector, in the field of energy resource metering.  

 

 

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