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Disputes continue

DAMPIER-Bunbury pipeline owner and operator Epic Energy remains in dispute with WA’s gas access regulator and with several users of the pipeline over matters not contained within the final access arrangement.

The regulator is able by law to pass on to Epic the assessment costs associated with determining a final approved access arrangement, and the company has already paid out on some of these, reporting a current total cost of $550,000.

However, when the regulator also sought to recover costs from WA Supreme Court action initiated by Epic regarding the pipeline’s draft access arrangement, Epic refused to pay. The company has approached the Supreme Court over a ruling, and is expecting the matter to be heard in July.

Pipeline users such as AlintaGas and other shippers remain in statutory dispute with Epic over prices under previous offers and acceptances covering existing contractual arrangements.

Epic maintains the statutory price should not apply, and is invoicing Alinta at $1.18 per GigaJoule.

But from January 2000, AlintaGas has refused to pay this amount, opting instead to pay only $1 per GigaJoule.

Under regulation, the dispute was unable to be referred to the WA Gas Referee until three years had passed.

Now that this requirement has been satisfied, AlintaGas has applied to OffGAR to have the matter referred to the gas referee.

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