The energy utility has been linked with WA-based Multiplex to build the second pipeline which it is estimated could be finished for around half the cost of the $2.4 billion Epic Energy paid to the State Government in 1998 for the DBNGP.
The companies already have a corporate relationship in the bidding process after joining forces on the $500 million trans-territory pipeline that will link the Blacktip gas field to Alcan’s expanded Gove alumina refinery.
However, the future of a second pipeline depends on the approval of significant industrial projects, including the expansion of Alcoa’s Wagerup alumina refinery, to justify the $1 billion plus cost.
Alternatively it is thought that Alinta is reconsidering its position on the DBNGP after withdrawing from the bidding race in February claiming that a lack of access to due diligence information had made it impossible to submit a bid.
At the time the ACCC also hinted that any ownership of the pipeline by Alinta would be need to be reviewed due to concerns of monopolisation of the WA market.
Alinta is also heavily in debt following its $1.690 million acquisition of Duke Energy’s Australian interests which include a diversified portfolio of gas infrastructure and power generation assets, including three strategically located gas pipelines and three gas-fired power stations in Australia, and one gas-fired power station in New Zealand.
Institutional investors overwhelmingly supported Alinta's bold takeover although the stock market reacted strongly, marking down Alinta's share price by over $1 from its peak of $7.74.
Since then it has continued to slide gradually, sitting on $6.14 at the time of print.