Part 23 (Access to non-scheme pipelines) of the National Gas Rules (NGR) facilitates access to pipeline services on non-scheme pipelines on reasonable terms. It sets out the requirements for the publication and exchange of information to facilitate negotiation of access to these pipelines. It also provides for a commercially-oriented arbitration process to resolve access disputes if negotiation is unsuccessful.
Under this arbitration framework, the AER is the designated scheme administrator, not the arbitrator. In this role, the AER provides oversight and administration of the arbitration framework, including establishing a pool of arbitrators, publishing information about arbitrations, and publishing a non-binding procedural guide for arbitrators and parties to such disputes.
On 13 October 2020, the AER was notified of a dispute between Gas Pipelines Victoria, owner of the Carisbrook-Horsham Gas Transmission Pipeline, and EnergyAustralia, a prospective user seeking access to the pipeline.
As scheme administrator, the AER referred the access dispute to Justice Gleeson SC for arbitration on 27 October 2020. The final access determination was made on 28 January 2021. The asset valuation method adopted by the arbitrator in the final access determination was the Recovered Capital Method.
The AER has published information regarding the arbitration between Gas Pipelines Victoria and EnergyAustralia in accordance with the National Gas Rules. The rules are specific on what the AER is required to publish regarding the arbitration in its role as the scheme administrator. The contents of the final access determination made by the arbitrator, including price and terms and conditions, are confidential.