Infratil expands energy portfolio in Australia


Daryl Flukes,
IEA chief executive 
Wellington, New Zealand — (METERING.COM) — January 31, 2007 – New Zealand-based specialist investor Infratil has bought a controlling interest in Perth Energy, one of three electricity retailers in Western Australia.

IEA chief executive Daryl Flukes, now Perth Australia’s chairman, said the acquisition fitted perfectly with Infratil’s growth aspirations in Australia, pointing out that the Western Australian energy market had just been deregulated, but currently lacked contestable residential customers.

"It’s very early days compared to eastern states and New Zealand in terms of contestable customers. Certainly we’re going to be well-placed with Perth Energy to be able to take on a larger customer base," he said. "I can’t say we’ve set a target for customer numbers, just as many as we can get while they remain profitable."

Largely owned by a handful of management and executives, Perth Energy was established in 1999 and has been trading profitably since 2005. It is a small retailer, currently selling about 50 MW of power to less than 100 C&I customers, with plans to sell to residential customers in the future as deregulation expands in the state.