Britain’s National Grid has initiated the removal of components supplied by Nari Technology, a unit backed by China, from its electricity transmission network, reports Reuters. This move is driven by cyber security fears and follows advice from the National Cyber Security Centre, a segment of GCHQ, the UK’s signals intelligence agency. The Financial Times reported this development, noting that the decision was made in April.
Despite the significant action, National Grid has refrained from commenting, citing the confidentiality of contractual matters. However, they have emphasized their commitment to security, stating, “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”.
According to the report, an employee at NR Electric UK, a subsidiary of Nari, disclosed that the company was no longer allowed access to the sites where the components were installed. However, National Grid did not provide a specific reason for terminating the contracts. The decision is believed to be based on concerns that NR Electric UK’s components, crucial for controlling and balancing the grid and minimizing blackout risks, might pose security risks.
It remains unclear whether the concerned components are still part of the electricity transmission network. Requests for comments from NR Electric UK, GCHQ, and the Chinese Embassy in London were not immediately responded to outside business hours.
This development highlights the growing concerns around cybersecurity in critical national infrastructure and the delicate balance of international relations in technology and security sectors.
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