CHALLENGE Bank CEO Tony Howarth is the new chairman of AlintaGas, taking over from Ian Baker who was the inaugural chairman of the utility.

Prior to becoming AlintaGas chairman in 1995, Mr Baker chaired the Energy Implementation Group, providing key advice on the renegotiation of the North West Shelf gas contract and initial stages of deregulation.

Mr Howarth has been on the AlintaGas board since July 1998 as deputy chairman.

He will also become chairman of AlintaGas Limited, the body to be created by the sale of the gas utility.