AGL buys Amaysim energy unit

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 18 : 1-Sep-20

AGL Energy’s customer base will increase by 215,000 to 4.2 million following a deal to buy Click Energy from listed telco Amaysim. The $115m deal will be financed via AGL’s existing debt facilities. Amaysim CEO Peter O’Connell says trading conditions in the electricity sector are challenging at present, with a further increase in bad debts likely. Meanwhile, Amaysim has posted a 2019-20 underlying profit of $600,000; this follows a $7.1m loss previously.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AMAYSIM AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX AYS, CLICK ENERGY

Utility companies have a significant consumer distrust problem

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-May-20

As part of its extensive, continuous measurement of consumer trust and distrust in Australia, Roy Morgan tracks 44 brands in the Utilities sector: gas, electricity and water providers. The latest results for March 2020 show the amount of distrust felt towards Utilities brands as a group significantly outweighs the trust they generate, resulting in the industry falling deep into Net Distrust territory – ranked 22nd of 25 industry sectors. This finding will undoubtedly concern many in the sector, particularly with federal and state energy watchdogs monitoring providers more closely than ever, given the number of customers now experiencing financial hardship. There are exceptions among the 44 brands being tracked: Red Energy, Aurora and Simply Energy are all trusted brands, while Alinta Energy has a neutral score. But some of Australia’s biggest energy brands are its most distrusted.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, AURORA ENERGY PTY LTD, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Virus shorts electricity demand

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 16-Apr-20

RepuTex has forecast that demand across Australia’s national electricity market will fall by 22.5 per cent in May due to the coronavirus lockdown. The consultancy also warns that wholesale electricity spot prices could fall below $40 per megawatt hour, which in turn could result in high-cost coal-fired power stations operating at a loss. The wholesale spot price has already fallen to around $45/MWh in most states, although RepuTex says this could rise to around $60/MWh in June if lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

CORPORATES
REPUTEX AUSTRALIA PACIFIC PTY LTD

Forrest in $68m renewables play takeover

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 5-Mar-20

Squadron Energy, the private company of mining magnate Andrew Forrest, has made a takeover bid for Windlab, a listed wind farm developer and operator. Squadron has teamed up with Federation Asset Management to offer $1 per share for Windlab, valuing the bid at $68.2m. Windlab shares rallied on 4 March, closing at $0.965; investors had paid $2 per share in its 2017 IPO. Squadron is expected to have a 75 per cent stake in Windlab if the deal proceeds.

CORPORATES
WINDLAB LIMITED – ASX WND, SQUADRON ENERGY PTY LTD, FEDERATION ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Industry group wants climate policy on agenda in wake of bushfires

Original article by Mike Foley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will hold a roundtable meeting with representatives of the nation’s power companies on 23 January. They will discuss the industry’s response to the bushfires crisis. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the meeting should also address the issue of climate change. Craig Memery of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says the agenda should include strategies to make the energy grid more resilient while avoiding a significant impost on consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE

Pumped hydro next on Morrison’s energy list

Original article by Greg Brown, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Dec-19

The federal government has given in-principle approval for the construction of two new gas-fired power plants under its Underwriting New Generation Investments. APA Group will build a 220MW gas plant in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong; the government will also underwrite a 132MW gas plant in the Queensland town of Gatton. The government is also expected to underwrite at least one of three proposed pumped-hydro projects in South Australia that were short-listed for the scheme.

CORPORATES
APA GROUP – ASX APA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Doubts remain as AGL embraces costly transition to energy future

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 1-Nov-19

Macquarie Wealth Management has reiterated its ‘underperform’ rating on AGL Energy, following the power company’s annual investor briefing. Analysts note that AGL will have to spend billions on clean energy sources to replace the coal and gas-fired power stations that it intends to close over the next few years. RBC Capital Markets has a ‘sector perform’ recommendation on AGL, with analyst James Nevin saying AGL appears to be positioning itself to respond to the changing and uncertain market.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, MACQUARIE WEALTH MANAGEMENT, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

Don’t extend coal power plants: Origin

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 25-Oct-19

Frank Calabria will use a speech to a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney on 25 October to warn against extending the life of coal power plants without the government providing a ‘carbon signal’. Calabria, who is the CEO of Origin Energy, will also call for an end to the ongoing energy war. He will say that the government needs to put an end to ‘quick fixes’ so far as the energy policy ‘puzzle’ is concerned, and focus instead on long-term solutions.

CORPORATES
ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA

Older coal-fired power stations are better bet

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 11-Oct-19

Trevor St Baker contends that there is no ‘natural life’ for a coal-fired power station. St Baker, who was speaking at a national energy summit on 10 November, is the co-owner of the coal-fired Vale power station in New South Wales; he says keeping such stations operating for longer is better than taking a gamble on new technologies such as high-efficiency low emissions plants or carbon capture and storage. Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute told the summit that coal-fired power stations should be allowed to reach the end of their natural life.

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY COUNCIL

Band-Aid plans to push up power bills

Original article by Mark Ludlow, Angela Macdonald-Smith, Natasha Gillezeau
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 23-Aug-19

Claims that Australia could suffer from power blackouts during the 2019-20 summer reflect the need for a co-ordinated national energy policy, according to Energy Users Association of Australia CEO Andrew Richards. He says asking big power users to again take part in voluntary load shedding to help prevent blackouts represents a "Band-Aid on top of another Band-Aid". His comments regarding the need for a co-ordinated energy plan have been echoed by ERM Power CEO executive Jon Stretch.

CORPORATES
ENERGY USERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA, ERM POWER LIMITED – ASX EPW, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL