Australia's NSW State Gets Key Support For A$3 Billion Power Asset Sale
05/29/2012| 11:25pm US/Eastern
Australia's New South Wales state will privatize another 3 billion Australian dollars ($2.94 billion) worth of power assets after the ruling Liberal-National coalition secured the support of independent lawmakers for a sale, the state's premier said Wednesday.
Australia's most populous state agreed in late 2010 to sell some of its electricity retailing and generation assets for A$5.3 billion. The sale was conducted by the previous Labor government, which decided to hold onto certain assets.
The new Liberal-National government gained support in the state's lower house for a further sale but needed more numbers in the upper house to get the bill passed.
Passage through the upper house has come after the Shooters and Fishers party was promised additional protection for power station workers, Premier Barry O'Farrell said in a statement.
"The sale is expected to generate gross proceeds of around $3 billion, which will go toward critical road, school and hospital projects across NSW, with at least a third directed towards regional areas," O'Farrell said.
Origin Energy Ltd. (>> Origin Energy Limited) and the Australian unit of CLP Holdings Ltd. (0002.HK) were the big winners in the state's previous power asset sale.
Australia's competition regulator will scrutinize any more proposed deals.
-By Ross Kelly, Dow Jones Newswires; 61-2-8272-4692; Ross.Kelly@dowjones.com