4 Mar 2013

Transpower to reduce infrastructure spending

8:13 am on 4 March 2013

Transpower says its spending on the electricity network will reduce dramatically over the coming years, now that three major upgrades are complete.

The national grid operator has spent billions of dollars in the last few years on major projects including a line through the Waikato and a new link between the North and South Islands.

Chief executive Patrick Strange says testing is underway on the new link and it may be up and running a little earlier than the May forecast.

He says now these major projects are complete Transpower's focus will be on spending as little as possible on its network.

"Most of our focus now is getting more out of the existing grid. You still have to replace and renew assets as they age, but we're keeping that to a minimum possible."

Mr Strange says the company's capital expenditure will come down to $300 - $350 million a year.

Transpower's half year profit increased 45% to $111.5 million, and it will pay the Government a dividend of $92 million.