The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has officially opened a new gas supply trading hub in Moomba, South Australia.

The Moomba Gas Supply Hub is an exchange for the wholesale trading of natural gas at a location that serves as a major transit point for Cooper Basin gas, connecting Queensland to New South Wales and South Australia.

It allows market participants to place bids on quantities of gas, and makes it easier for smaller participants to trade in the market.

South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis called on AEMO to establish the trading hub in Moomba 12 months ago after Santos, Beach Energy and Origin Energy indicated they also back the establishment of an alternative trading location.

This hub follows the successful introduction by AEMO of the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub in Queensland, established in 2014 to enhance the transparency of gas supply by creating a voluntary market that offers a low-cost, flexible method to buy and sell gas at interconnecting transmission pipelines.

The Moomba trading location uses the same trading platform, settlement systems and regulatory framework as those at Wallumbilla.

Mr Koutsantonis said this is good news for both gas suppliers and customers, because it offers market participants a cheap method of buying and selling gas and that increased competitive tension will put downward pressure on gas prices.

“It also allows a greater number of participants to engage in the energy market and improves the efficiency and transparency of pricing.

“Moomba is the perfect location for this hub because it sits at the intersection of pipelines to New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.”

AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Matt Zema said, “Participants will have increased accessibility to trade between the southern markets and the liquefied natural gas Queensland market, opening up greater market access to new participants, and smaller producers, large users and retailers in South Australia and New South Wales.

“The trading locations at Moomba will also support innovation and development of gas services at Moomba, such as storage and title transfer services.”

Jessica Dickers

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