This article examines the State Grid Corporation of China’s bid for the NSW electricity transmission network TransGrid. It looks at the nature of State Grid, its global acrivities and the problems it is facing. It also underlines that State Grid networks carry the communications of the People’s Liberation Army and use technology from Huawei, a company banned from bidding on infrastructural projects in both Australia and the United States, and declared by a US congressional committee to be tied to the PRC military.
State Grid already has large energy holdings across Australia through ElectraNet and Jemena and is seeking to expand these. Major efforts have been made to reduce political sensitivities to PRC ownership of essential infrastructure in Australia by initially taking only partial shares in these companies.
It is suggested that State Grid as well as its subsidiaries, the Nari Group and NARI Technology, are increasingly key agents in Chinese foreign and strategic policy through intended domination of regional energy networks. State Grid’s expansionist aspirations thus present a threat to Australia’s security.