01/09/2014 - 11:52

Tesla’s Tan times out

01/09/2014 - 11:52

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The uncertain outlook for the state’s power sector has triggered the departure of Tesla Holdings founding managing director Ben Tan.

Tesla’s Tan times out

The uncertain outlook for the state’s power sector has triggered the departure of Tesla Holdings founding managing director Ben Tan.

Telsa is a back-up electricity generation business with a network of four peaking power stations located in Picton, Geraldton, Northam and Kemerton.

Tesla is majority owned by Singapore-based Koon Holdings and was backed by Azure Capital founder John Poynton when established in 2008; its board includes high-profile corporate identities Wayne Zekulich and Western Power chair Alan Mulgrew.

Mr Tan, who previously worked for Azure, confirmed he had quit the business this week to pursue other opportunities in the power industry.

However it’s understood his departure has been heavily influenced by the uncertainty over the future of the electricity market in Western Australia.

Industry insiders suggest Tesla’s future plans have been put on ice until such time as it can get clarity on the regulatory outlook for the sector.

The state government is currently undertaking a review of the electricity market to examine the high cost of power in WA.

The first stage of this review is expected to be complete by October this year; but it’s a wide-ranging inquiry that could significantly affect the operation of private businesses such as Tesla.

Issues such as whether WA will join the national electricity market and just how private operators will fit into the energy market need to be addressed before Tesla can map out its future strategy, according to energy sector watchers.

The departure of Synergy chair Michael Smith and three board members in July also sparked claims the utility may be split into two separate gentailers before being sold off.

Amid this uncertainty, power industry consultant Warren McEvoy has stepped into the managing director role for Tesla.

It’s understood he will steer Tesla through this care and maintenance period.

Tesla’s parent company, Koon, stated in its annual report the private power provider was working on the “development of various new projects”.

Koon is a dual-listed, infrastructure construction and civil engineering operation.

It paid $3 million for a 49 per cent stake in Tesla in 2010 and exercised an option to increase this to almost 68 per cent for a further $3.6 million.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options