The SP AusNet Gas Distribution Network is owned by SP Australia Networks (Distribution) Pty Ltd which is part of the SP AusNet group. The service provider of the SP AusNet network is SPI Networks (Gas) Pty Ltd.
The SP AusNet network (formerly known as the Westar distribution network) was formed in 1997, when the Victorian government restructured the state’s gas industry from the government owned monopoly (Gas and Fuel Corporation) into separate transmission, distribution and retail businesses. These new businesses were sold to the private sector in 1999. TXU purchased the Westar network in 1999 and renamed it TXU (Networks) Gas. In 2004, SP Energy (a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Power) acquired TXU’s Australian assets which included TXU (Networks) Gas.
The SP AusNet network covers an area of 60,000 km2 and serves more than 620,000 customers in outer western metropolitan Melbourne and central and western areas of Victoria. It consists of approximately 10,000km of pipelines.
The SP AusNet network was initially subject to regulation as a covered pipeline under the Gas Code by the Essential Services Commission of Victoria (ESC) which was formerly the Office of the Regulator General, Victoria (ORG).
In enacting the National Gas Law and Rules, the National Gas (Victoria) Act 2008 specifies that access arrangements cannot be consolidated for any of the covered pipelines in Victoria (s. 35). In addition, under the National Gas (Victoria) Act 2008, the Victorian Minister has by order published in the Victorian Government Gazette (S222, 30 June 2009) declared that the four distribution pipelines and the transmission pipeline that had been covered under the Gas Code are classified as ‘designated pipelines’. These are the SP AusNet, Envestra (Vic), Multinet and Envestra (Albury) gas distribution networks and the Victorian Transmission System. As a result, these pipelines remain under full regulation and cannot be the subject of a light regulation determination (under ss. 109 and 111 of the NGL).
The SP AusNet Distribution Network is subject to full regulation by the AER under the NGR.