Federal Government buys Snowy Hydro shares for $6b

Jindabyne Dam as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme in New South Wales.

The Federal Government has reached an agreement with the New South Wales and Victorian governments to take full ownership of Snowy Hydro Limited.

The historic deal will deliver more than $6 billion in Commonwealth funds for investments in infrastructure across both states.

The historic agreement will generate more reliable energy, cheaper electricity, better infrastructure and more jobs for NSW and Victoria, a joint statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

“Initiated by the Federal Government and announced at the 2017 Federal Budget, the deal includes a broad commitment to invest the proceeds in productive infrastructure projects, with NSW set to receive $4.154 billion and Victoria $2.077 billion, reflecting their respective Snowy shareholdings,” the statement said.

“In a win for Australian energy consumers, the agreement will pave the way for the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project to proceed to a final investment decision by the independent Snowy board.

“The purchase will see this iconic infrastructure remain in Australian Government hands and NSW and Victoria will receive a fair market value for an important energy asset.”

The deal means the Australian Government will increase its shareholding from 13 per cent to 100 per cent by purchasing NSW’s (58 per cent) and Victoria’s (29 per cent) shareholdings.

The agreed fair market value of the enterprise is $7.8 billion. Allowing for Snowy Hydro’s debt as of 31 December 2017, NSW will receive $4.154 billion and Victoria $2.077 billion.

“This is a historic deal that’s good for Victorian households, and good for our economy, as we continue to build the infrastructure and create the jobs our state needs for the future,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.