SPAusNet – BT

SP AusNet aims to grow asset base

SP AUSNET will continue to focus on growing its regulated asset base, with the aim of being a stable and secure investment for security-holders.

Chairman of the electricity network operator in Australia, Ng Kee Choe, said at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday that the group will aim to meet increasing customer demand and connections, as well as focus on expanding and commercialising its asset services business.

Mr Ng highlighted some emerging developments that are likely to have a positive effect on financial outcomes this year.

On June 4, 2010, new Australian tax legislation came into effect. This new tax law confirms the availability of additional tax deductions or carry forward losses available to SP AusNet, which enables the company to book a benefit of around A$10 million (S$12 million) this financial year.

In addition, SP AusNet has been able to utilise the Federal Government’s investment allowance incentive. The company expects that this will also yield a tax benefit this financial year.

SP AusNet is also starting to see the benefits of its enhanced reliability programme, with incentive payments being received under the AER’s S-Factor incentive scheme. These payments are received two years after the network’s reliability performance is assessed.

Apart from highlighting the positive financial effects, Mr Ng also highlighted certain events that caused uncertainty.

SP AusNet is involved in court proceedings in respect to two of the fires that occurred on Feb 7 last year in Beechworth and Kilmore East.

More than 600 victims of the firestorm sued SP Ausnet in Victoria’s Supreme Court, alleging that the fire was caused by the company’s failure to maintain its 43-year-old power line and install a safety device, known as a vibration dampener.

Mr Ng said the company continued to extend its full support and help to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

‘Many SP AusNet employees were involved in providing evidence to the commission. The commission is due to release its final recommendations at the end of this month,’ he said.

As the matters were before the courts, it was not appropriate to comment on them, Mr Ng said.

SP AusNet is 51 per cent owned by Singapore Power.

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