GDF SUEZ Australian Energy

From Global Energy Monitor

GDF SUEZ Australian Energy is a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ Energy International. GDF SUEZ Australian Energy has interests in coal, gas and renewable power stations in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. Through Simply Energy the company is an energy retailer in Victoria and South Australia.

Corporate background

International Power Australia (IPRA) was a subsidiary of the UK headquartered International Power. In August 2010 International Power announced a tie-up with GDF Suez via a reverse takeover whereby GDF Suez transferred its Energy International Business Areas (outside Europe) and certain assets in the UK and Turkey to International Power in exchange for 70% of the stock of the combined entity.[1][2][3] The remaining 30% remained in the ownership of the existing International Power shareholders. The combination was completed on 3 February 2011 following approval by shareholders.[4] On 16 April 2012, GDF Suez announced the purchase of the remaining 30% of International Power and the transaction closed in July 2012.[5]

Coal-fired power stations

GDF SUEZ Australian Energy has interests in:

  • the Hazelwood power station, in which it has a 92% interest.[6] The power station is located near Morwell and in 2010 it was estimated to have emitted 15.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e).[7]

Lobbying on Carbon Pricing

In the 2009 annual report of the global company, International Power's Chief Executive Officer, Philip Cox wrote that "climate change continued to dominate the 2009 political debate in Australia, but how and when carbon dioxide (CO2) legislation will be enacted is still uncertain. This is clearly very important for the power generation sector, given that some 80% of Australia’s electricity is generated by coal-fired plants, which are on average relatively high in CO2 emissions. However, coal-fired power generation provides Australia with enormous benefits, both in terms of cheap electricity – as measured by international standards – and in terms of security of supply, given Australia’s vast indigenous reserves of black and brown coal. The debate is centred on how the environmental, economic and social dimensions of this subject can be reconciled. We remain very actively engaged at both state and federal government levels. Given the uncertainty in the market, we are not forward contracted post July 2011, which is the provisional date for the introduction of a CO2 trading scheme. Within this market context, we were pleased to conclude the restructuring of the non-recourse project debt at our Hazelwood brown coal-fired plant in early 2010."[9]

In the body of the annual report the company noted that the federal government's proposed emissions trading scheme targets were for 5% on the 2000 baseline with a potential to be increased to 25% subject to caveats including the conclusion of a global agreement on cutting global emissions. The company identified that the proposed scheme would have little short term effect due to generous compensation provisions which would insulate the biggest emitters from a carbon prices for a decade. "The legislation proposed that the scheme would be introduced from July 2011 with a period of ten years where, in effect, no charge will be applied for a portion of emissions from coal-fired power plants, and our Hazelwood and Loy Yang B plants would be eligible for this relief. The scheme also included a fixed price for carbon, of A$10/tonne, for the first year of the scheme. This proposed legislation has been approved by the lower House but rejected by the Senate in December 2009. It is expected to be tabled again in May/June 2010 in the Senate, though agreement between the two main political parties looks unlikely at this juncture," the company stated. (The proposed scheme was subsequently put on hold by the Australian government).[10]

Handout from carbon tax package

GDF SUEZ Australian Energy received $265,887,649.47 of the $1 billion cash payments given out in 2011/12[11] to the operators of the most polluting coal-fired power stations. The cash was paid from the Energy Security Fund which was established as a part of the carbon tax legislation passed in 2011.[12][13]

Lobby group affiliations of International Power Australia and its subsidiaries


Key IPRA staff include[18]

Contact details

Head Office
International Power Australia Pty Ltd
Level 37, Rialto North Tower
525 Collins Street
Victoria 3000
Tel: +61 (0)3 9617 8400
Fax: +61 (0)3 9617 8401

Articles and Resources

Related articles


  1. Kari Lundgren, "GDF Buys International Power, Pays Special Dividend", Bloomberg, August 10, 2010.
  2. "GDF takes control of International Power to form energy giant", Reuters, August 10, 2010.
  3. Pierre Sookiew, "GDF Suez Is Stepping On The Gas In Fast Growing Markets", Seeking Alpha, April 30, 2012.
  4. International Power sweetens GDF Suez merger with £1.4bn cash for investors The Telegraph, 10 August 2010
  5. Mark Scott, "GDF Suez to Buy Remaining Stake in British Utility for $10 Billion", "Dealbook", New York Times blog, April 16, 2012.
  6. "Our Assets" International Power website, September 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Climate Group, [ Greenhouse Indicator Series: Australian Electricity Generation report 2007 – 2010], The Climate Group, October 2011, page 21. (Pdf)
  8. International Power Australia, "Loy Yang B Power Station", International Power Australia website, accessed August 2010.
  9. International Power, "Chief Executive Officer’s statement", Annual Report 2009, International Power, May 2010, page 8.
  10. International Power, "Annual Report 2009", International Power, May 2010, page 32.
  11. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency,"Generation complexes eligible to receive Energy Security Fund cash payments", Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website, July 9, 2012.
  12. Australian Government, "An overview of the Clean Energy Legislative Package", Clean Energy Future website, accessed January 2013.
  13. Energy Security Council, "About the Council", Energy Security Council website, accessed January 2013.
  14. Business Council of Australia, "BCA: Our Members", Business Council of Australia website, accessed September 2010.
  15. Minerals Council of Australia, "Member Companies", Minerals Council of Australia website, July 2010.
  16. Evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy", April 30, 2009.
  17. Energy Supply Association of Australia, "List of members", Energy Supply Association of Australia website, accessed September 2010.
  18. International Power Australia, "Management", International Power Australia website, accessed September 2010.


International Power Australia submissions

International Power presentations

External links