Macau electricity company to invest US$119 million to expand distribution network

4 February 2010

Macau, China, 4 Feb – Macau’s electricity company, Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM) this year plans to invest 950 million patacas (US$119 million) in improving Macau’s electricity supply grid, said the chairman of the company’s executive commission, Franklin Willemyns, Wednesday.

Macau currently receives 60 percent of its electricity from mainland China, whilst CEM produces the remaining 40 percent in the territory.

Willemyns said that the company had put forward a proposal to the government to invest over 950 million patacas to build the backbone of the local electricity distribution system.

The project includes a new 66kV sub-station, in the north of Macau, to meet increasing demand for electricity, and another 220kV sub-station in the Cotai casino area to improve electricity transmission capacity and which will be linked by a circuit to the sub-station in the border area with China, which will cross the entire territory.

“It is a project that will take two years to finish and it will be a basic infrastructure for the future supply of electricity in Macau, which will then be secure for several years,” Willemyns said noting that “based on the economic recovering we are witnessing, CEM is well prepared for a rise in demand.”

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.

The government of Macau announced in July that it would 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. (macauhub)