Vishal Ahuja

Vishal Ahuja

Vishal Ahuja specialises in advisory and transactional work relating to energy and utilities, infrastructure access, competition law, climate change and major projects.

He advises a range of clients including private industry, governments, regulators and market operators in respect of access regimes, energy regulation, project contracts, renewables and transactions.

In energy, this has included privatisations, listing of infrastructure funds, complex ACCC clearances, restructuring, energy contracts and electricity and gas markets. He has extensively advised on the National Electricity Rules.

Vishal is recognised as one of the world’s best energy and utilities lawyers by Chambers Asia Pacific 2020.

Recent Matters

Energy and utilities regulation and access

  • Energy Security Board – National Energy Guarantee, Retailer Reliability Obligation, Integrated System Plan and reliability reforms
  • Australian Energy Market Commission - National Electricity Rules changes and market reviews
  • Australian Energy Market Operator – National Electricity Rule changes and projects
  • Western Australian Government – Electricity network reform program
  • Australian Rail Track Corporation - Hunter Valley rail access undertaking and contracts
  • Australian Rail Track Corporation – Interstate rail access undertaking
  • Tasmanian Gas Pipeline – access arbitration under the National Gas Regime
  • APA Group – development and authorisation of North West Power System Dispatch Protocols
  • Queensland Department of Energy – energy retail and distribution reform
  • Queensland Competition Authority - regulated retail pricing and litigation; energy code changes
  • Sydney Water – pricing and regulatory determinations, water networks access undertaking
  • GrainCorp - access undertaking for East Coast grain terminals
  • IPART - introduction of the new water access laws
  • Tasmanian Government - State development arrangements for introduction of reticulated natural gas pipelines and certification of gas regime

Energy projects

  • Ratch – corporate power purchase agreements (PPA) with Infigen and Aldi
  • Maoneng – agreement with AGL for four utility scale batteries
  • TransGrid – transmission projects
  • Westpac - corporate PPA for Bomen Solar Farm
  • Telstra – corporate “club” PPA for Murra Warra Wind Farm
  • BlueScope – corporate PPA for Finley Solar Farm
  • Telstra – corporate PPA for Emerald Solar Farm
  • Engie/Simply Energy - sleeved PPA product with Australian Hotels Association
  • Origin - sleeved PPA product with Sydney Airport and CWP
  • UTS – corporate PPA for Walget solar farm
  • Small Generation Aggregator - behind the meter sleeved product
  • State Government - design of renewable reverse auction scheme / RFP
  • Origin - PPA procurement process for large scale solar projects
  • APA/AGL - development of Diamantina Power Station
  • Infigen – development of Woodlawn Windfarm Project and Lake Bonney Wind farm
  • Negotiating connection, electricity and gas supply, gas transportation and offtake agreements and carbon pass through for various projects, including for power stations, renewable projects, LNG plants, pulp mills and ammonia plants.

Mergers & Acquisitions / ACCC clearances

  • CKI – acquisition of DUET
  • Sydney Water / NSW Government - privatisation of Sydney Desalination Plant 
  • CKI – bids for APA and Ausgrid
  • BG - sale of QCLNG Pipeline to APA
  • BG - sale of interest in QCLNG Project to CNOOC
  • APA - ACCC clearance for takeover of Hastings
  • M+W - acquisition of True Value Solar
  • EnergyAustralia - acquisition of TXU's merchant energy business, sale of 1/3rd interest in SEA Gas pipeline, sale of Waterloo Wind Farm, swap of Torrens Island Power Station for Hallett Power Station, acquisition of NSW retail business and Delta West gentrader (NSW privatisation)
  • APA Group/Marubeni/Osaka Gas - acquisition of Hallett 4 Windfarm
  • APA Group - acquisition of the Berwyndale Pipeline
  • Austrian Energy & Environment - acquisition of ALSTOM's Asia-Pacific industrial boiler and generation plants business
  • CKI - establishment of the Spark Infrastructure fund
  • AMP - establishment of the Diversified Utility and Energy Trust
  • CKI and Hongkong Electric - acquisitions of ETSA Utilities, Powercor and CitiPower

Memberships

  • Law Society of New South Wales
  • Trade Practices Committee, Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia
  • Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association.

Experience

  • 1993: Bachelor of Commerce, University of Queensland
  • 1995: Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Queensland
  • 1996: Articled Clerk, Clayton Utz, Brisbane
  • 2007: Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques/King & Wood Mallesons.

Location

Legal insights

On 18 September the Federal Government reintroduced Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2019 into Parliament.

20 September 2019

The Federal Government has announced that it will direct the ACCC to conduct a market inquiry into the water markets operating in the MDB.

09 August 2019

On 6 June, the AEMC commenced consultation on the MLF framework. While in response to two specific rule change requests by Adani Renewables, the AEMC is considering broad reform.

11 June 2019

The Australian Energy Market Commission recently released its draft Updating the Regulatory Frameworks for Embedded Networks report.

06 March 2019

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