Australian state to receive first bids on $930-mln power stations

SYDNEY, June 6 Fri Jun 6, 2014 3:44am EDT

SYDNEY, June 6 (Reuters) - The New South Wales state government has set a deadline of late July for first-round bids for two power stations ahead of a sale worth about A$1 billion ($930.80 million), two sources working on the deal told Reuters on Friday.

Australian federal and state governments have identified some A$100 billion of state-owned assets for potential sale as they seek new ways to pay down debt and fund upgrades to critical infrastructure like roads.

The deadline suggests the government of Australia's most populous state hopes there is enough interest in the Vales Point and Colongra power stations owned by its Delta Electricity unit, which together generate about 12 percent of the state's power, to justify a sale.

In March, New South Wales was forced to pull the A$1.5 billion sale of larger power company Macquarie Generation to AGL Energy Ltd, after regulatory authorities said the deal would hurt competition and no other bidder offered the asset's book value.

Goldman Sachs, which is running the sale, has now amassed enough interest in Delta to invite parties to submit indicative bids by late July, the sources, who were not authorised to comment publicly on the deal, said on Friday.

A sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, they added.

Another New South Wales state-owned energy asset, renewable energy supplier Green State Power, is expected to receive final bids from a handful of parties with a sale likely by the end of June for under A$100 million, the sources said.

The Federal government says it will pay state governments an extra 15 percent on proceeds from infrastructure sales. ($1=1.0743 Australian dollars) (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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