Hydro Tasmania Weighing Sale of Power Retailer Momentum Energy
(Bloomberg) -- Australian hydro-electric power utility Hydro Tasmania is reviewing options for its mainland power retail business Momentum Energy Pty including a potential sale.
Divestment of the retailer would support its continued growth, while enabling the state-backed renewable energy utility to focus on its generation business, said Evangelista Albertini, chief executive of Hydro Tasmania, in a press statement confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report.
Hydro Tasmania has interviewed prospective advisers for the sale of the electricity and gas retailer, a person familiar with the process said, asking not to be named discussing confidential matters.
A spokesperson for Hydro Tasmania responding to an earlier Bloomberg News query acknowledged the review and said that the utility would not comment on individual growth opportunities for Momentum.
A sale process would be subject to the approval of the Tasmanian Government, Albertini said. On Wednesday the utility announced a restructuring that will include reducing its workforce by about 5%, or about 50 full-time jobs, over the next 12 months.
Founded 2002, Momentum Energy sells electricity and gas to customers in Australia, according to its website. Hydro Tasmania bought 51% of the Melbourne-based company in 2008 and purchased the rest the following year.
Although Hydro Tasmania’s generation arm deals exclusively in hydro and wind power, Momentum supplies power to customers in states along the country’s east coast from the national electricity grid, which includes coal-fired generation, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The company was penalized by Australia’s consumer watchdog in 2016 for claiming that its electricity came entirely from renewable sources.
Under Albertini, Hydro Tasmania has continued to advance a plan dubbed “Battery of the Nation” that calls for investment in generation as well as infrastructure to transport power across the Bass Strait to Australia’s most-populous Eastern seaboard cities.
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