ComCom moots takeover of Transpower transmission services

THE Commerce Commission is considering controlling national electricity grid owner-operator Transpower New Zealand's electricity transmission services.

The commission today said its intention to control Transpower followed an inquiry into Transpower’s electricity transmission services after the company had breached regulatory thresholds set under the Commerce Act.

The Commerce Act requires the commission to implement a targeted control regime for government-owned Transpower, and 28 lines companies, to promote the efficient operation of electricity distribution and transmission services for the benefit of consumers.

Commission chair Paula Rebstock said the body’s preliminary view was that the imposition of control on Transpower would result in long-term benefits for consumers, but it would take into account the views of interested parties before deciding whether to assume control.

The commission would next month release a paper setting out the reasons for its intention to declare control, which were based on its preliminary conclusions and analysis undertaken to date.

Interested parties have until February 15 to make submissions, while cross-submissions will be allowed until February 22, with a view to the commission making a final decision by March 17.

In related news, the commission yesterday refused Transpower’s application to take over New Zealand’s wholesale electricity operator, The Marketplace Company.

Rebstock said the commission was not satisfied the proposed acquisition by Transpower subsidiary Energy Market Services would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in the relevant markets.

The main activity of EMS is the role of reconciliation manager at the wholesale level of the electricity industry.

M-co is a wholly-owned subsidiary of M-co International Limited, which is ultimately owned by the South African financial services FirstRand Group. M-co operates the competitive wholesale electricity market in New Zealand and provides market support and administration services to the Electricity Commission.

Most read Commodity


Most read Commodity