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Investment to create a borderless energy market



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Media release ABARE

OL97/18

5 February 1997

GPO Box 1563 Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone (06) 272 2000 Facsimile (06) 272 2001 International code 616 http://www.abare.gov.au

Investment to create a borderless energy market

‘Consumer choice will be a key feature of the outcomes of energy market reform’, said Ms Jane Cutler, Business Development Manager, BHP Petroleum, speaking at the OUTLOOK 97 Conference in Canberra today.

‘Interconnections between gas pipelines increase consumer choice and competition and are an important step in the creation of a borderless energy market in Australia’, Ms Cutler said.

‘A borderless energy market is a market where buyers and sellers have the opportunity to trade without political/regulatory or physical constraints on the organisation they can trade with or the geographic region they can trade in’, Ms Cutler added.

M r Verl Topham, Senior Vice President, PacifiCorp (US), said that ‘Australia is well ahead of the US in the emerging marketplace’. Mr Topham contrasted the regulated electricity industry of the US with the competitive industry encountered following PacificCorp (US) purchase of PowerCorp in Victoria. He considered that the lessons PacifiCorp will leam in Australia will be applicable around the world as more countries and regions embrace reforms to increase competition in energy markets.

Dr John Tamblyn, Adviser Micro-Economic Reform, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said that gas and electricity compete for a range of uses and ‘this convergence is going to increase in the future’. This competition will be intensified by further gas and electricity interconnections and by the reform process.

‘Higher economic growth is the objective of these reforms’ said Dr Tamblyn as he detailed the hopeful gains from further competition. However, he cautioned that close attention needs to be paid to the actual extent of competition likely to be achieved in particular markets.

Speakers at the session, ‘Australian Energy Markets 2’ were:

Mr Verl Topham, Senior Vice President, PacifiCorp (US);

Dr John Tamblyn, Adviser Micro-Economic Reform, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission;

Ms Jane Cutler, Business Development Manager, BHP Petroleum;

For further information, contact:

During the Conference, Ms Rebecca Casey, OUTLOOK Media Centre on (06) 276 5243 or 018 487 825;

After the Conference, Jane Harris, ABARE on (06) 272 2120.

ABARE thanks Apple Computer as the major sponsor of OUTLOOK 97.

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