Government announces partial liberalisation of Macau’s electricity market as of 2011

9 July 2009

Macau, China, 9 July – The government of Macau announced on Wednesday that it is going to partially liberalise the electricity market from 2011, ending the current concession held by Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM) since 1985.

From January, 2011, CEM will only be responsible for the distribution and sale of electricity in Macau, as the production and import of electricity will be liberalised, according to news agency MacauNews.

Lao Si Io, the Macau Secretary of State for Transport and Public Works, said that the existence of only one company that operates all electricity services exclusively, under a vertically integrated model that includes electricity production, import and transmission, “is not suitable for the current social and economic situation of Macau”.

Speaking at the Legislative Assembly about the development and reform of the electricity market, Lao Sio Io said that the government has, “in the last five years, put the creation of new electricity infrastructures into practice; ensured a stable electricity network; increased capacity and strengthened regional cooperation”.

“CEM’s concession contract expires next year, an ideal time to move ahead with the reform of the electricity market,” he said.

Over 80 percent of the capital of CEM belongs to two groups with interests in China, Portugal, France and Hong Kong.

A Chinese-French group mainly made up of Suez and NWS Holdings Limited own 42 percent of the capital and a Chinese-Portuguese group, in which Portugal’s EDP has a majority stake, also has 42 percent.

The Government of the special administrative region of Macau (SARM) has 8 percent of the company’s capital, China Power International Holding Ltd has 6 percent and the remaining 2 percent are in the hands of 800 local shareholders. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH