13/11/2008 - 11:27

Collier rules out Alinta asset buyback

13/11/2008 - 11:27

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State Energy Minister Peter Collier has ruled out purchasing the Western Australian assets of troubled utility investor Babcock and Brown Power, namely those in the Alinta group that the ailing investment banking group bought two years ago.

State Energy Minister Peter Collier has ruled out purchasing the Western Australian assets of troubled utility investor Babcock and Brown Power, namely those in the Alinta group that the ailing investment banking group bought two years ago.

"The State Government has not been involved in any consideration of the purchase of Babcock and Brown Power's Alinta assets in Western Australia and has no interest in the purchase of Babcock and Brown Power's Alinta assets in WA," said Mr Collier said in a statement.

"I have not had any discussion with the Premier regarding the purchase of Alinta assets."

Mr Collier's statement followed reports on ABC overnight which speculated on the possibility of the state acquiring the assets of Alinta, an entity which was privatised as a gas retailer more than a decade ago.

Yesterday he reportedly told ABC that: "Certainly purchasing Alinta is not on the agenda at the moment but there's a lot of water that will go under the bridge in terms of Alinta in the next few months."

Buying back Alinta would be a surprise move for the government given it privatised the business when now Premier Colin Barnett was then Energy Minister in the government of Richard Court.

However, Mr Barnett is known to have firm views about the role of energy in state development, one of his portfolios, and there are thought to be concerns about the potential for underinvestment in Alinta's network of gas and power generation assets should its ownership remain in doubt for any protracted period.

 

Full statement below:

Statement from the Minister for Energy
Portfolio: Energy

Energy Minister Peter Collier has responded to a media report claiming the Government is looking to buy back AlintaGas:

"The State Government has not been involved in any consideration of the purchase of Babcock and Brown Power's Alinta assets in Western Australia and has no interest in the purchase of Babcock and Brown Power's Alinta assets in WA.

"I have not had any discussion with the Premier regarding the purchase of Alinta assets."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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