Alinta claims rival stymies competition
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.