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The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released an information paper to continue consultation on proposed east coast gas reforms aimed at supporting a more secure, resilient, and flexible gas market. 

The information paper, titled Extending AEMO’s functions and powers to manage east coast gas system reliability & supply adequacy, provides stakeholders with an overview of the associated regulation and rule refinements that have been agreed by energy ministers, which incorporate consultation feedback. 

In addition, the paper supports AEMO’s continued industry consultation on the development of procedures and guidelines ahead of implementation of the new framework before winter 2023.

Energy Ministers have agreed to amend the National Gas Law, National Gas Rules and associated regulations, extending AEMO’s functions and powers to manage reliability and gas supply adequacy in the east coast gas market.

AEMO is responsible for operating the following gas markets that utilise the interconnected east coast gas system: 

  • Short Term Trading Market (Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane hubs)
  • Victoria’s Domestic Wholesale Gas Market (AEMO is also the transmission system operator)
  • The Gas Supply Hub (at various locations where AEMO operates a gas trading exchange)

AEMO also offers other trading services and the Gas Bulletin Board, which aggregates and displays data on gas production and flows across the east coast gas transmission system.

AEMO Executive General Manager Reform Delivery, Violette Mouchaileh, said that stakeholder consultation will ramp up on the reliability and supply adequacy framework associated with AEMO’s new responsibilities.

“The Energy Ministers’ proposed reforms present a material change to AEMO’s roles and responsibilities across the east coast gas market,” Ms Mouchaileh said.

“As such, we’re taking a leading role through our working group with gas industry stakeholders and market bodies to develop suitable procedures and guidelines to monitor, communicate and respond to emerging reliability and supply threats by winter 2023.”

AEMO’s East Coast Gas Reform Project working group held its first meeting in mid-January 2023 to seek information and feedback on relevant processes, procedures and guidelines.

The working group has an upcoming industry briefing on 28 February 2023 to ensure participants are aware of the information paper and to provide more details of the changes. Formal consultation of the new procedures will commence from 27 February with guideline consultations commencing mid-March 2023.

The working group will be kept up to date with the overarching coordination of reform initiatives and will support effective engagement in both reform phases.

AEMO’s paper can be found here.

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