Alinta claims ri­val stymies com­pe­ti­tion

Pilbara News - - News - Daniel Mercer

An ex­as­per­ated Alinta En­ergy says State-owned power util­ity Hori­zon Power is “fight­ing tooth and nail” to pre­vent com­pe­ti­tion in the Pil­bara — at a cost to con­sumers.

Alinta chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeff Dimery said the Syd­ney-based com­pany had spent the past three years try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate a deal with Hori­zon for ac­cess to each other’s poles-and-wires net­works but talks had reached a stale­mate.

Mr Dimery ex­pressed frus­tra­tion at the lack of a breakthrough, re­veal­ing Alinta had se­cured about 10 per cent of the mar­ket across the North West, promis­ing dis­counts of “around 10 per cent”.

He said the ab­sence of a deal was not put­ting those dis­counts in jeop­ardy.

“We have been push­ing for con­testa­bil­ity in the Pil­bara for large cus­tomers now for the past three years,” Mr Dimery said.

“And the mar­ket hasn’t been opened up to com­pe­ti­tion de­spite the fact that a large per­cent­age of the Pil­bara mar­ket would in fact ben­e­fit from com­pe­ti­tion through lower pric­ing.

The comments from the Alinta chief are the lat­est in a tit-for-tat battle be­tween the power providers over ac­cess and mar­ket share in the Pil­bara — a key growth prospect for the pri­vate player.

The two also lodged com­pet­ing bids to sup­ply power to Roy Hill port op­er­a­tions in Port Hed­land — a con­tract Hori­zon ul­ti­mately won last year.

A Hori­zon Power spokes­woman said Hori­zon was ne­go­ti­at­ing with Alinta to pro­vide ac­cess to the Hori­zon net­work.

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