SPAusNet – BT

SP AusNet update on bushfire damage

SP AUSNET, the Australian power distributor which is part of the Singapore Power Group, yesterday said that damage from the severe bushfire crisis experienced in the state of Victoria in February is lower than originally expected.

The company also said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange that there has been no material impact on previous earnings guidance for the year ended March 31, 2009, as a result of the fires.
‘SP AusNet has now been able to access all fire-affected areas to assess the scale of damage to its electricity distribution network and is pleased to advise that the damage is lower than originally expected, with less than one per cent of these assets being damaged by the fires,’ the company said.

The electricity firm is also facing a lawsuit from Australian wildfire survivors, who have launched a class action lawsuit alleging that a downed power line set off a fire that killed at least 100 people.

With regard to these legal proceedings, SP AusNet said yesterday that on April 16, 2009, it was served with the writ previously filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria, which alleges that ‘faulty and/or defective power lines’ caused loss and damage.

SP AusNet believes the claim is ‘both premature and inappropriate’, and intends to vigorously defend the claim. As it has previously stated, the firm intends to give its full support and assistance to the Royal Commission of Inquiry, which is set to commence public hearings on May 11.

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