Australia has blocked the sale of the New South Wales electricity provider, Ausgrid to two Chinese companies citing security concerns.

Australia blocks sale of Ausgrid to Chinese companies

Australia, NSW: Australia has blocked the sale of the New South Wales electricity provider, Ausgrid, to two Chinese companies citing security concerns.

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has prohibited the Chinese state-owned company State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings from buying the majority 50.4% stake in Ausgrid, saying that it would go against national interest, reports Energy Business Review.

Ausgrid is country’s largest electricity network which supplies electricity in parts of Sydney, Wollongong and the Hunter region, and the two Chinese companies had bid $7.7 billion to lease it for 99 years

“In making this decision, national interest concerns have been paramount. They relate to the transaction structure as currently proposed and the nature of the assets,” said Scott Morrison.

Following the rejection of the Chinese companies, New South Wales (NSW) will now have to start a bidding process afresh to sell majority stake to local companies.

Transformer Magazine has previously reported on the SGCC’s bid to buy 100 % of the Australian high voltage electricity network TransGrid, which was also rejected in November 2015.

Source: EBR, China.org