The firm may face problems with anti-monopoly rules, as it recently bought assets in the country from Singapore Power Electricity supplier CLP Holdings has once again set its sights on Southern Hydro, one of the largest renewable energy companies in Australia. The head of CLP's Asian operations, Richard McIndoe, said yesterday in Australia that the group would study Southern Hydro's assets and evaluate it for possible synergies with its existing power assets, according to Reuters and Bloomberg reports. A potential bid for Southern Hydro's hydroelectric and wind power assets, valued between A$1 billion ($6.01 billion) and A$1.5 billion, underlined how keen CLP was to boost its presence in Australia and might brighten the prospects for an eventual separate stock-market listing of its Australian portfolio, analysts said. CLP bid unsuccessfully for Southern Hydro in 2003. State-owned, New Zealand-based Meridian Energy, which controls Southern Hydro, appointed Credit Suisse First Boston and First NZ Capital as financial advisers last week to handle the sale. Assets on sale include 737 megawatts in renewable energy plants across New South Wales, Victoria and Southern Australia, including Australia's largest wind farm - the 91 MW Wattle Point facility. Of the plants, 646 MW of capacity is derived from hydro resources in nine catchment areas. Southern Hydro has said it has a number of greenfield renewable energy projects in the pipeline. Suitors for Southern Hydro, which may bid for selected assets or for the entire firm, must first submit expressions of interest. Those chosen as preferred bidders will submit their offers later in the year. Meridian expects the process to be completed by October. Some analysts said CLP's renewed interest in Southern Hydro fits with its long-term strategy of moving into the clean energy sector. In China, CLP committed last week to its second green power project in Shandong province, earmarking 165 million yuan for a wind farm project. '[CLP] is heading in the right direction, given the trend toward clean energy and heavy emission penalties on coal-fired power emissions,' UBS analyst Alice Hui Suk-fong said. 'However, the question is what price the company is going to pay for the assets.' CLP's bid for Southern Hydro could face complications arising from Australia's stringent anti-monopoly rules, since the company recently completed a A$2 billion purchase of Singapore Power's energy retailing and generation assets in Australia, its largest overseas acquisition to date. The assets included gas and electricity retailing networks with 1.1 million customers, a gas pipeline linking South Australia and Victoria, and the 1,280-MW Torrens Island power station in Adelaide - Australia's largest gas-fired plant. CLP also owns a 1,480-MW coal-fired power plant at Yallourn, Victoria.