An overseas company has purchased a stake in the Mundaring Treatment Plant in Western Australia.
Beijing Enterprises Water Group International has bought out TRILITY Australia Investments 25.05 per cent share in Helena Water.
The previous Liberal National Government government entered into a Public Private Partnership with Helena Water in July 2011 for the design, construction, finance and operation, and maintenance of the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant, which has now been sold four years into the 35-year agreement.
Western Australia Minister for Water, Dave Kelly, said, “This transaction demonstrations one of the potential pitfalls of privatising important water infrastructure.”
“When the previous Liberal National Government privatised the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant they claimed to have carefully selected the right private partners with the necessary expertise and long-term commitment.
“Yet now, just four years into a 35-year contract, one of the major owners is selling out.”
The $300 million Mundaring Water Treatment Plant treats water prior to it being pumped up the Goldfields Pipeline to 100,000 people in the Perth Hills, Kalgoorlie and the agricultural region.
Helena Water is also part-owned by Spain’s ACCIONA Agua and Aberdeen Asset Management of the UK.
The transaction has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board.