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Western Power to spend $1.68bn on upgrading network

13 April 2006 – Western Australia’s reformed state energy provider Western Power says it will invest $A2.3bn ($1.68bn) in upgrading its network over the next four years.

Western Power has this month separated into four new stand-alone business, focussed on retailing energy, managing the network, energy generation and regional customers.

Western Power, now responsible for managing the network, has been given $1.6bn to upgrade the state’s infrastructure with the $700 million balance to come from its operating earnings.

It is now seeking approval from the Economic Regulatory Authority for its pricing and performance structure and expects this will be handed down towards the middle of the year.

“As we enter the new era we are finalising the access arrangements with the ERA,” Western Power chief executive Doug Aberle told an industry luncheon in Perth.

“We see that we have got a great opportunity here to create a definitive transmission and distribution business which will deliver long term value for money.

“Most other people are slowly moving into that transmission and distribution cluster, for example in Victoriaand we think we have got a bit of a head start there.”

The two retailing businesses, Verve Energy and Synergy, will now compete in the retail market.