Dec 17 (Reuters) – Britain’s National Grid (NG.L) has started removing components provided by a unit of China-backed Nari Technology’s (600406.SS) from the electricity transmission network over cyber security fears, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The decision came in April after the utility sought advice from the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of the nation’s signals intelligence agency GCHQ, the newspaper quoted a Whitehall source as saying.
National Grid declined to speak citing “confidential contractual matters”. “We take the security of our infrastructure very seriously, and have effective controls in place to protect our employees and critical assets to ensure we can continue to reliably, safely and securely transmit electricity”, it said in a statement.
The FT said an employee at the Nari subsidiary NR Electric UK had said the company no longer had access to sites where the components were installed and that National Grid did not share a reason for terminating the contracts.
It quoted another person it did not name as saying the decision was based on NR Electric UK components that help control and balance the grid and reduce the risk of blackouts.
It was unclear whether the components stayed in the electricity transmission network, the report said.
NR Electric UK, GCHQ and the Chinese Embassy in London did not quickly respond to Reuters requests for comment outside business hours.
Britain’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said that it did not comment on the individual business decisions made by private organisations. “As a government department we work closely with the private sector to safeguard our national security,” it said in a statement.
Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Jose Joseph; Editing by William Mallard and Alison Williams