Hearing for determination of Northern Gas Pipeline derogation

national gas rules, APA, northern gas pipeline

The AEMC has received a request to hold a hearing in relation to its draft determination not to make a rule to remove an exemption in the National Gas Rules that applies to the Northern Gas Pipeline. This hearing will be on May 7, 2019. A further consultation period will follow, closing on May 23, 2019. 

Consequently, the AEMC has extended the time for it to make a final determination by seven weeks to July 4, 2019. 

Stakeholders wishing to attend the hearing are required to register by 5pm on May 2, 2019, by submitting the provided registration form to the AEMC.  

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Draft determination

On February 21, 2019, the AEMC made a draft determination not to make a rule to remove an exemption in the National Gas Rules that applies to the Northern Gas Pipeline. 

The Northern Gas Pipeline, between Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and Mt Isa in Queensland, was built by Jemena after it won a competitive tender process run by the Northern Territory Government in 2015. It started commercial operations in January 2019.

The pipeline is exempt from the framework for arbitration and information disclosure due to a derogation in the National Gas Rules. Environmental Justice Australia and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis sought to revoke the derogation so the Northern Gas Pipeline would need to comply with the requirements for providing information, as well as the dispute resolution procedures, set out in Part 23 of the National Gas Rules. 

The AEMC’s draft determination finds the existing regulatory regime for the pipeline – which was put in place by the Northern Territory Government as part of a binding contract – is effective. Also, adding new regulatory requirements for the pipeline would be costly and potentially confusing for both Jemena and users.

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