By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
In the months before the March election there was a lot of debate about my team’s proposal to partially lease the state’s electricity network businesses – the so-called ‘poles and wires’.
We went to the election outlining our vision to invest all proceeds from the lease into the infrastructure projects, the roads, schools, hospitals and public transport projects desperately needed to keep Sydney in step with other global cities around the world.
This week’s outstanding result for the lease of TransGrid, the first of three electricity assets to be leased, was a great result for the state and most importantly the people of NSW.
An Australian-led consortium won the bid to lease TransGrid’s electricity assets in NSW for the next 99 years. The consortium consists of:
- Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a Canadian pension fund (24.99 per cent),
- Hastings, as manager of Utilities Trust of Australia (20.02 per cent),
- Tawreed Investments Limited, the global direct infrastructure investment vehicle of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (19.99 per cent),
- Wren House Infrastructure, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Authority (19.99 per cent), and;
- Spark Infrastructure, an ASX listed owner of energy infrastructure and Australian infrastructure manager (15.01 per cent).
The transaction will deliver gross proceeds of a massive $10.258 billion, unlocking billions of dollars that will now help fund a raft of infrastructure projects across the state as part of our Rebuilding NSW plan.
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. This is shows the comprehensive plan we took to the election is the right one for the future of NSW.
The Price Commissioner, Professor Allan Fels AO signed off on the TransGrid transaction and the successful consortium also signed the Electricity Price Guarantee , confirming total network changes would be lower in 2019 than they were last year.
Following the transaction, the NSW Government will retain significant influence over TransGrid as lessor, licensor, as safety and reliability regulator and through the planning system. The company will also continue to be regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator that determines network charges.
We’re now proceeding with the partial lease of Ausgrid, which we expect will be completed by mid-2016.
On the topic of infrastructure, I attended a ‘topping out’ ceremony on the top of Barangaroo’s Tower Three this week as part of a Scandinavian construction tradition held to mark the tallest point of a structure.
Tower Three will be the future Australian headquarters for LendLease and KPMG and has so far notched up 1.3 million hours of construction.
Projects like these are putting Sydney on the map and, once completed, will rival London’s Canary Wharf. Indeed, it’s better because we have Sydney Harbour while the British have the Thames River!
This is one of the key projects fuelling the multi-billion dollar construction boom currently underway across our city and state supporting thousands of new jobs. We’re seeing a dramatic transformation at Barangaroo South which will strengthen Sydney’s competitive position in the Asia Pacific region as both a major financial services hub and Australia’s leading tourism destination.