12/02/2018 - 16:03

Simply Energy to enter Perth gas market

12/02/2018 - 16:03

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An east coast energy retailer backed by a French multinational will become the fifth player selling to consumers in the local gas market, after receiving approval by the Economic Regulation Authority today.

Competition in the local gas retailing market continues to heat up.

An east coast energy retailer backed by French multinational will become the fifth player selling to consumers in the local gas market, after receiving approval by the Economic Regulation Authority today.

Melbourne-based Simply Energy is 72 per cent owned by French business Engie, which was previously known as GDF Suez.

The remaining 28 per cent is held by Mitsui & Co.

The company operates in the National Energy Market, retailing electricity and gas, with the business formed from after a buyout of EnergyAustralia’s assets.

Business News understands Simply holds about a 10th of the east coast energy market.

The company joins Alinta Energy, AGL Energy, Wesfarmers subsidiary Kleenheat and Origin Energy as retailers in the Western Australian market.

Origin and AGL entered in 2017, with AGL so far securing 7,000 customers.

Kleenheat had close to 200,000 customers as of December 31.

The new market entrants have stoked major price competition.

AGL, for example, offered discounts of 26 per cent off the standard rate for some customers.

Origin offered discounts of up to 35 per cent.

It is not yet known when Simply will begin retailing, however, with both Origin and AGL taking about six months to start sales after securing approval to enter the market.

Engie already has interests in the Perth market, including through a 126-megawatt natural gas-fired power station in Kwinana, and interests in waste collection.

Mitsui & Co is one of the most significant investors in WA's resources industry, with interests in iron ore, agribusiness and LNG.

Mitsui was also recently picked by the board of AWE as the best option in a threeway takeover battle for that company, against a Chinese business and Mineral Resources.

AWE is the operator of a gas plant at the Waitsia field in the Perth Basin, with potential to expand production nearly tenfold to 100 terajoules per day.

That would be about 10 per cent of the local market.

 

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