Electricity consumption on the North Coast has declined by 20 per cent over the past four years despite a growth in population.
Electricity consumption on the North Coast has declined by 20 per cent over the past four years despite a growth in population. Trevor Veale

Overseas investors lease NSW electricity network.

A CONSORTIUM of Canadian, Middle Eastern and Australian investors has committed to the $10.258 billion lease of a large portion of NSW's electricity network.

Announcing the 99-year privatisation plan, Premier Mike Baird said TransGrid still had $3 billion of debt that needed to be paid off.

It meant the government would take in a net haul of about $7 billion from the lease. The government hopes to raise a total $13 billion for infrastructure projects after partially leasing the final two pieces of the "poles and wires" network, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy.

"We've taken a giant step in spending taxpayers' money more wisely on things that make a difference to their daily lives like better schools, hospitals, public transport and roads," Mr Baird said. "This is a great result for NSW taxpayers and shows the comprehensive plan we took to the election is the right one for the future of NSW."

Mr Baird said the winning consortium had guaranteed total network charges would be lower in 2019 than they were in 2014.

The government says it will retain "significant influence" over TransGrid as lessor, licensor, as safety and reliability regulator and through the planning system.

But Greens MP John Kaye said: "If a top-dollar sale price was locked in with a series of contract sweeteners, then inevitably it will be consumers and the renewable energy industry who will pay."

"The long-term lease of 50.4% of Ausgrid is expected to be completed by the middle of next year , with Endeavour Energy to follow.

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

  • NSW Electricity Networks:
  • Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, a Canadian pension fund (24.99%)
  • Hastings, as manager of Utilities Trust of Australia (20.02%)
  • Tawreed Investments Limited, the global direct infrastructure investment vehicle of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (19.99%)
  • Wren House Infrastructure, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Authority (19.99%)
  • Spark Infrastructure, an ASX-listed owner of energy infrastructure and Australian infrastructure manager (15.01%)


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