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Austral switches energy supplies

BRICK manufacturer Austral Bricks may have shed a light on Western Australia’s future energy market by agreeing to buy its gas from traditional electricity supplier, Western Power, and its electricity from traditional gas supplier Alinta. It provides a prime example of energy competition at work, with larger business customers able to switch to alternative suppliers. Austral will be Western Power’s biggest gas customer after signing a four-year supply deal last week. It previously bought gas direct from Arc Energy, which in future will be the wholesaler while Western Power will be the retailer. Western Power’s other gas customers include Coca Cola Amatil’s Perth bottling plant, the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Edith Cowan University’s four campuses and CBD property owner St Martins Properties. Alinta has already signed up electricity customers for two of its 140 megawatt co-generation plants and its 90 megawatt wind farm, and it is currently seeking customers to underpin development of a third co-generation plant. Western Power and Alinta have promoted their ability to package electricity and gas supplies for larger customers, but the Austral example shows that customers may prefer to have separate suppliers.

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Total revenue

3rd↑Water Corporation$2.55bn
4th↓GESB$2.04bn
5th-Western Power$1.78bn
6th-Western Australian Treasury Corporation$1.54bn
7th-Lotterywest$885.2m
29 state government businesses ranked by total revenue - this year

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