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Flying visit for REMCo chief

REMCo’s newly appointed chief executive officer Stephen Thomson has been in Perth this week.

As head of REMCo, the non-for-profit company established to support the setting up and running of fully contestable retail gas markets in Western Australia and South Australia, Melbourne-based Mr Thomson is doing a lot of flying these days.

But this is despite his early professional days as an aero-nautical engineer.

Mr Thomson was almost made for this new role, one for which he put up his hand when a REMCo director mentioned the company was on the lookout for two independent directors and a CEO.

As Powercor Australia’s program director for full retail contest-ability when the eastern Australian electricity market was opening up, chairman of a facilitation group for distributors and a host retailers representative on the National Electricity Market Settlements and Transfers committee, Mr Thomson came to know a lot about open electricity markets.

For the past 20 months he has been with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as an account manager for the utilities sector.

Now Mr Thomson is working full-time for REMCo out of a serviced office in Melbourne, but similar facilities have also been set up in Perth and Adelaide.

The REMCo board now has six industry-nominated directors – Peter Cain (Envestra), Ian Devenish (AlintaGas), Wayne Gregory (Origin Energy), Renee Klimczak (TXU), Don MacKenzie (AlintaGas), and Rob Petersen (AGL).

Two independent directors have also been invited to join the board, but earlier this week, their names remained unannounced.

REMCo has been funded by a loan agreement between the company and some of its members.

The creation of REMCo has been an industry-led initiative to deliver a fully contestable retail gas market much sooner than could have been feasibly achieved by the relatively less populated States of WA and SA.

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