AlintaGas split talk gains legs

WITH AlintaGas facing an end to its monopoly of the WA retail gas market by July 1 2002, speculation has increased that the company will split its distribution and retail operations.

A strategic review undertaken by WA Gas Holdings is due to be completed by the end of the month, but an AlintaGas spokesperson said the company would not necessarily announce the conclusion of the review.

The spokesperson said AlintaGas may prefer to include any announcements in its annual report.

In March this year, AlintaGas chief executive officer Phil Harvey was replaced by Bob Browning from Kansas-based Utilicorp, a 45 per cent stakeholder in AlintaGas.

At the time, AlintaGas chairman Tony Howarth said the appointment would enable the company to compete in the supply and generation of both electricity and gas in a deregulated WA energy market.

Earlier in the year Mr Howarth said an operating services agreement with WA Gas Holdings, a joint company between UtiliCorp and its Australian offshoot United Energy, would utilise UtiliCorp’s global experiences in strategic development and growth and in identifying new business opportunities.

UtiliCorp also acquired a 66 per cent stake in telco company, Uecomm, last year.

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