Cyan expands into South Africa
Smart meters South Africa: Cyan is working with local partners to target state utility Eskom and municipalities

UK smart metering and lighting technology company Cyan confirmed on Wednesday that it has bolstered its entry into the South African market by signing a distribution deal with a local electrical contractor and implementing a proof of concept order.

The Cambridge-headquartered company has added Cape Town-based Adenco to its group of local partners that also includes telecoms provider Vodacom and M2M solutions company XLink Communications.

The move forms part of a strategy to build a small presence in the South African market before creating a formal operating company that will locally manufacture and assemble metering and lighting solutions, Mark Coyle, vice president at Cyan told Metering.com.

"Cyan has been looking at Africa for a couple of years and waiting for the right time to come in.

"South Africa is at inflection point where there's a great need for energy security, revenue assurance and an improved quality of service."

In an interview with Metering.com at trade event African Utility Week, Coyle said Cyan will complete a smart metering proof of concept in collaboration with its partners by the middle of the year, as well as secure local market certification before promoting its technology "at scale".

He said: "The South African government has put out an RFI for smart metering and we're engaging with municipalities to show how the benefits of smart metering and load-limiting technology can be accelerated."

Exporting metering technology

As part of its global expansion plan, Cyan has a wholly owned subsidiary in India, which recently secured a GBP1 million contract with utility Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation in the southwest of the country to supply 21,000 smart meters for a pilot.

The first meters will be switched on this year with full roll-out expected by the first half of 2016, Cyan said.

The company has also adopted a similar localisation process in Brazil, where it has deployed a purpose-designed retrofit module for electricity meters through its partner Nobre.

The CyLec module is a small self-contained box that connects to an installed meter by an existing communications interface on the meter.

The aim is provide a cost-effective solution for utilities to migrate from an automated meter reading to an advanced metering infrastructure.

In its end of year results released this week, Cyan reported it had raised gross funding of GBP3.5 million in 2014, up 35% year on year.