China’s government-owned State Grid corporation, the biggest utility company in the world, announced on Tuesday it has purchased 49 percent of the power grid in the Persian Gulf nation of Oman.
The deal was presented as a means of improving Oman’s power distribution system with Chinese technology as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that State Grid did not disclose the exact value of the deal, but described it as “the biggest Chinese investment to date in Oman.”
It will most likely prove to be State Grid’s largest investment outside of China. The company concentrated on work in China until recently, when it began making investments in countries such as Italy, Portugal, Greece, Australia, and Brazil. Other Chinese utility companies formed a consortium to buy a controlling position in Argentina’s power distribution system in early December.
In November, the head of the primary utility company in the Philippines informed the Philippine senate that China now owns over 40 percent of that country’s electrical grid and could switch off the power remotely if it wanted to, although the Senate also heard reassurances that Philippine technicians could restore the power within 48 hours.