Joint venture plans mainland facility to supply cheaper electricity to Hong Kong A Growth Enterprise Market-listed company plans to take on Hong Kong's two power giants by building a plant in Guangdong province to transmit electricity here. Vertex Communications & Technology Group says it has formed a joint venture with China Power International Holding, the mainland power producer headed by former premier Li Peng's daughter, Li Xiaolin. The Hong Kong-incorporated joint venture - China Hong Kong Power Development - aims to challenge CLP Holdings and Hongkong Electric Holdings, whose profits are protected by the scheme of control regulatory regime which expires in 2008. Counting on the expertise of Vertex chairman Steven Poon Kwok-lim, a former general manager of CLP Power and former legislator, the joint venture has been set up at a time when the government is soliciting public views on the post-2008 regulatory blueprint. A Vertex spokesman said Mr Poon had played a vital role in a number of large-scale energy projects, such as the Daya Bay nuclear plant and a natural gas project in the South China Sea. The spokesman declined to give details of the deal, but said Ms Li and Mr Poon had met acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen about the investment plan. He added that an initial investment of 'tens of millions of dollars' was earmarked for the start-up stage. 'The alliance has got a well-planned investment plan, which will be made public in stages in the near future,' the spokesman said. 'It believes Hong Kong has room for lower tariffs by sourcing electricity from lower-cost Guangdong to Hong Kong.' He said the joint venture mainly targeted CLP's core service area - Kowloon, the New Territories and Lantau. CLP and Hongkong Electric last night declined to comment on the potential competitor. Analysts said the joint venture raised more questions than answers to the future development of Hong Kong's power market given the private ownership of power grids and plants by CLP and Hongkong Electric.