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Gas scheme not enough for WA

The state government’s ‘Gas Bulletin Board’ has not gone far enough to help alleviate industry problems, according to Western Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing sector.

Food Industry Association WA chief executive, Andrea Berteit, said businesses in the sector has reviewed the option to utilise the online gas trading board, which did not guarantee the availability of gas to buyers.

Western Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing sector still faces serious uncertainty, despite the state government’s recent ‘Gas Bulletin Board’ initiative.

“Our businesses have reviewed the option to utilise the Gas Bulletin Board to get access to more gas, but it doesn’t appear viable for our situation and circumstances where our businesses need access to secure and consistent supply that allows us to plan a week ahead — not just a day,” Berteit said.

“The food and beverage industry relies on a consistent and reliable flow of energy as we deal with perishable goods. Unreliable supplies make it very difficult to plan the production process, and we also risk significant wastage of valuable food products.

“Unreliable energy supplies result in less production, and this could both endanger the state’s valuable export reputation as well as increasing the cost to consumers.

“What’s really needed is a secure allocation of gas so that food and beverage manufacturers can plan with confidence.”

The Gas Bulletin Board is operated by the Independent Market Operator, and facilitates the trading of natural gas between buyers and sellers. The minimum trade allowed has been dropped from 0.5 TJ to 0.1 TJ a day and actual trade arrangements (including transport) are negotiated between buyers and sellers. Bids close daily at 11am with the successful bidder notified at 12 noon about the supply for the next gas day starting at 8am. This does not allow for sufficient planning for a perishable supply chain.

For further information contact:

Independent Market Operator

imo@imowa.com.au

www.imowa.com.au/GasBulletinBoard.htm

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