The National – Monday, December 20, 2010
EDA Ranu will now embark on a new pilot project to install prepaid water meters in selected homes and businesses in NCD.
The company has imported more than 1,000 residential prepaid water meters including five industrial meters from Korean manufacturer, Delixi Korea Ltd, to begin the first phases of its upgrading and installation works.
In a stakeholders briefing held at the Hideaway Hotel in Port Moresby last week, Eda Ranu general manager Billy Imar said the project was a win-win situation and aimed at benefiting both the customer and the company as far as effective water service was concerned.
Imar said for the customers, the prepaid water meter would allow them to take ownership of their water and use it responsibly while for Eda Ranu the revenue would help it sustain its operations.
He also said the prepaid water meter system, unlike the old post paid concept, would allow customers to budget for their bills and avoid “surprise bills” that may accumulate overtime.
“The customer has the option to better control and coordinate the use of water within his or her residence or property and also the customer is not given surprise bills,” he said.
Imar said organisations such as PNG Power, Telikom and others had taken drastic steps forward and capitalised from advances in technology by introducing new prepaid products and Eda Ranu was no exception.
He said part of the concept was to “provide better and efficient services to clients” and “sustain the company as a business entity” so that dividends could be paid to shareholders.
Delixi Korea Ltd chief executive officer Lim Lee-hwan, who demonstrated the installation of the prepaid water meter at the briefing, said the technology was wonderful because it help eradicate illegal connections, allowed for 100% bills to be paid, was easy to install and customers would have to pay first before they get water.
He said the prepaid concept had proved successful in places such as Soweto in South Africa, parts of Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
Eda Ranu’s business and administration manager Stephen Sallun said those premises that had already been identified for the installation exercise applied in advance.
Lim said the properties that the company was presently targeting were institutional houses, business houses, real estates, government departments, government employee’s homes and other reliable water users.
After a five to six-year trial period, the board will meet and decide whether or not to fully implement the project depending on the results of the current pilot project.