1 October, 2002 – Australia’s second largest power retailer Origin Energy said on Monday it will enter the electricity market in South Australia state when full retail competition is introduced in January 2003.

The Australian Gas Light Company currently holds a monopoly in the South Australian market and the company announced earlier on Monday it plans to increase its standard electricity prices by 25 per cent, or 58 cents a day, from January 1.

South Australia’s Energy Minister Patrick Conlon reacted angrily to AGL’s planned price increases and vowed that the state government would do everything possible to prevent an escalation in power prices.

Origin already sells gas to 350 000 retail customers in South Australia and electricity and gas to more than two million customers nationally.

“Origin is now in the process of determining the extent of its involvement (in the electricity market) and will convey this to customers in the coming weeks,” Origin’s executive general manager Peter Vines said in a statement.

Earlier this month, TXU Ltd also said it would enter the South Australian power retail market next year. It owns the state’s Torrens Island power station and already supplies power to large industrial customers.