AER draft decision to provide stable network charges for Roma to Brisbane pipeline

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is seeking feedback on its draft decision on the revenue that APTPPL, the owner and operator of the Roma to Brisbane gas transmission pipeline, can collect through network charges for the 2017-22 period.

The draft decision released today would result in revenue of $237.4 million being recovered from consumers over the five year period, 9.6 per cent less than for 2012-17. This draft decision allows $56.5 million (or 19.2 per cent) less revenue than sought by APTPPL in its proposal.

“The draft decision aims to achieve value for money for gas customers in and around Brisbane whilst enabling the pipeline to invest in and deliver long-term safe, secure and reliable gas supplies,” AER Chair Ms Paula Conboy said.

“If implemented in full, our draft decision would result in no material change to the transmission component of residential customers’ gas bills. Similarly, for large directly connected customers we expect any bill impact will be minimal.

“Ensuring stable gas network charges avoids adding further pressure to household and business budgets when many Australians are concerned about rising energy costs,” Ms Conboy said.

Ms Conboy said Australia’s gas market is changing and users of this pipeline are now increasingly seeking bidirectional services. This draft decision avoids any increases in gas pipeline costs for consumers in and around Brisbane, despite the increased demand to ship gas west to the Wallumbilla hub to feed into other markets.

The AER assessment shows that improvements in the investment environment since revenue allowances were last set in 2012 have reduced financing costs necessary to attract efficient investment, which would result in savings to consumers if the draft decision is implemented in full.

The draft decision has been developed in consultation with stakeholders and the AER’s technical experts. APTPPL will submit a revised proposal in response to this draft decision by 14 August 2017. Interested parties are invited to make submissions on both the draft decision and revised proposal by 15 September 2017. Final decisions are expected in November.

Notes to Editors

The Roma to Brisbane pipeline (RBP) is 438 kilometres of gas transmission network that transports natural gas between the Wallumbilla gas hub, near Roma, and Brisbane and regional centres in between. It supplies residential and industrial consumers in Brisbane. It also supplies gas to electricity generators, supports gas market trading at the Wallumbilla hub west of Brisbane and contributes to gas exports via Gladstone LNG facilities.

RBP’s revised access arrangement was intended to commence on 1 July 2017. The AER extended its assessment period for this decision given the significant changes occurring in Australian gas markets. This allows for comprehensive consultation and careful assessment of issues arising from RBP's proposed access arrangement revisions.

RBP’s reference tariffs for 2016–17 will continue to apply until a final decision and new reference tariffs take effect (under interval of delay arrangements). These arrangements ensure that APTPPL will not incur a windfall loss or gain as a result of the delay.

A factsheet explaining the key elements of this draft decision is available.

About the AER

The Australian Energy Regulator regulates energy markets and networks under national legislation and rules in eastern and southern Australia, as well as networks in the Northern Territory. Its functions include:

  • monitoring wholesale electricity and gas markets to ensure energy businesses comply with the legislation and rules, and taking enforcement action where necessary;
  • setting the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using networks (electricity poles and wires and gas pipelines) that transport energy;
  • regulating retail energy markets in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania (electricity only), and the ACT;
  • operating the Energy Made Easy website, which provides a retail price comparator and other information for energy consumers;
  • publishing information on energy markets, including the annual State of the energy market report, to assist participants and the wider community.
Issued date: 
6 July 2017
AER reference: 
NR 18/17
AER Media inquiries 1300 138 917