December 2020 variation of the 2011 Hunter Valley Coal Network Access Undertaking

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Note: This project was originally published in 2019 as the 2022 Hunter Valley Access Undertaking.

On 23 December 2020, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) applied to the ACCC to vary its 2011 Hunter Valley Coal Network Access Undertaking. The proposed variation seeks to extend the Undertaking by five years, to 31 December 2026. Upon commencement, the proposed variation seeks to be treated as having taken effect as of 1 July 2021, six months prior to the current expiration date of 31 December 2021.

The proposed variation seeks to change a number of provisions in the Undertaking, including:

  • the rate of return and depreciation
  • the allocation of fixed costs to pricing zones, following the end of loss capitalisation
  • how deflation (negative changes in the Consumer Price Index) affect the regulatory asset base
  • the track utilisation rate used by ARTC in its contractable capacity assumptions.

Note that some of these provisions would not be effective for the full period from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2026.

ARTC's variation application and supporting materials are available below.

On 13 January 2021, the ACCC released a consultation paper seeking stakeholder views on the key elements proposed in ARTC's variation application. The ACCC encourages all stakeholders to provide a written submission on the proposed variation. Stakeholder submissions are due by Wednesday, 24 February 2021.

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