The Pilbara Networks Access Code requires covered network service providers to submit ringfencing rules to the ERA for approval. Currently, the Code covers two Pilbara networks:
- The Port Hedland network, which was acquired by the APA Group on 1 November 2023 (previously owned and operated by Alinta Duke Energy WA Power Pty (ADEWAP), a subsidiary of Alinta Energy).
- The Horizon Power coastal network, which is owned and operated by Horizon Power, a government trading enterprise.
The purpose of the ringfencing rules is to ensure that vertical integration of the covered network service provider with other businesses does not lead to a reduction in competition in generation and retail markets. The ringfencing requirements are set out in Chapter 8 of the Code. The rules must ensure that:
- Commercially sensitive information that is received by the network business is not used outside of the network business or for a purpose other than the purpose for which the information was acquired or developed.
- Charges paid by users of the network include only network costs.
- The network business does not discriminate against competitors or in favour of its own, or associates, generation or retail businesses.
The requirements allow for flexibility, recognising that the structure and nature of network service providers businesses differ substantially.
Initial ringfencing rules were approved for both networks on 21 January 2022. Further details can be found below.
APA has submitted amended ringfencing rules for the Port Hedland network which the ERA is currently considering. APA’s application can be found below.