Beresford pulls pin

Former Metasource managing director Richard Beresford has left his appointment just six months after the launch of the Woodside renewable and sustainable energy subsidiary.

Mr Beresford is keen to advance some renewable energy projects of personal interest, and while his departure after five years with Woodside was not acrimonious, the decision may also have firmed, in part, on other factors.

Some of Mr Beresford’s vision for Metasource may have not have been shared by Woodside management, plus it has been suggested one reason for the departure lay with the joint venture contract awarded to Woodside and Energy Equity Corporation by Western Power late last year.

As general manager of Woodside’s Business Development Division, Mr Beresford was involved in the negotiations surrounding the joint venture, formed in 1999, and the subsequent successful tender for the power supply contract signed late last year.

Then as managing director of Metasource, Mr Beresford was responsible for the day-to-day issues of the deal.

The contract involved long-term supply to Western Power from four gas-fired power stations in the Kimberley, but was formally terminated by the Western Power board in October when the joint venture partners could not satisfy contract conditions, including a finance deadline.

The partnership with Energy Equity Corporation, through its subsidiary EEC Kimberley, appeared the crucial factor in the loss of the lucrative long-term contract.

Project costs had increased over the months and the Energy Equity board, handling some significant company fundraising during the year, did not provide finance at the required time to EEC Kimberley. The Woodside board decided the project no longer made economic sense and refused to commit finance.

But the contract faced some difficulty even without the crucial finance decisions. The gas to fuel the power stations was to come from the North West Shelf joint venture, operated by Woodside, and to be transported as LNG by road. However the North West Shelf partnership reportedly could not agree to sign off the supply of LNG, due to road transport safety concerns raised by at least one partner.


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