The Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation issues today a consultation paper entitled “Proposed Acquisition of Premier Transmission by Team Northern Ireland”. The paper sets out the issues raised by the proposed acquisition of the regulated natural gas transmission utilityand the transfer of the business to a non-for-profit, 100% debt financed company.
The Authority has taken the preliminary view that the acquisition can deliver significant consumer savings and invites views on the proposals and particularly on:
- Are the benefits to consumers outlined in the paper sufficient to offset the potential risks?
- In the absence of shareholders, are the proposals for efficiency incentives/corporate governance sufficient to protect consumers? Is the process for appointment of Board Directors robust enough to prevent capture or insufficient monitoring?
- Should support from the electricity consumer via the collection agency arrangements be used to decrease the financing costs of the acquisition?