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 has been nominated as one of the world’s best lawyers by Chambers Asia Pacific 2015 in which clients note that “‘he probably has the best understanding of the technical aspects of energy market regulation’ and he is a source of ‘astute guidance on making risk-weighted commercial decisions’”. He is also nominated by Best Lawyers in Australia 2016 in the areas of Energy Law and Regulatory.

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Recent Matters

Mergers & Acquisitions / ACCC clearances

  • BG - sale of QCLNG Pipeline
  • BG - sale of interest in QCLNG Project to CNOOC
  • EnergyAustralia - sale of Waterloo Windfarm
  • APA - ACCC clearance for takeover of Hastings
  • TRUenergy - acquisition of EnergyAustralia and Delta West gentrader (NSW privatisation)
  • M+W - acquisition of True Value Solar
  • TRUenergy - sale of 1/3rd interest in SEA Gas pipeline
  • TRUenergy - swap of Torrens Island Power Station for Hallett Power Station
  • APA/Marubeni/Osaka Gas - acquisition of Hallett 4 Windfarm
  • APA - acquisition of the Berwyndale Pipeline
  • Austrian Energy & Environment - acquisition of ALSTOM's Asia-Pacific industrial boiler and generation plants business
  • Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) - establishment of the Spark Infrastructure fund
  • China Light & Power - acquisition of TXU's merchant energy business from Singapore Power
  • AMP Henderson - establishment of the Diversified Utility and Energy Trust
  • CKI and Hongkong Electric - acquisitions of ETSA Utilities, Powercor and CitiPower and separation and sale of the retail businesses.

Energy regulation and projects

  • APA/AGL - development of Diamantina Power Station
  • Australian Energy Market Commission and Australian Energy Market Operator - advising on and preparing changes to the National Electricity Rules/Code
  • Origin Energy - carbon implementation and repeal projects
  • Infigen - develoopment of Woodlawn and Lake Bonney windfarms
  • Queensland Department of Energy - introduction of new retail and distribution regulation and energy full retail competition
  • Queensland Competition Authority - regulated retail pricing and energy code changes
  • Tasmanian Government - State development arrangements for introduction of reticulated natural gas pipelines and certification of gas regime
  • Office of the Tasmanian Energy Regulator - changes to the Tasmanian Electricity Code for Tasmania's entry into the National Electricity Market
  • Negotiating connection, electricity and gas supply, gas transportation and offtake agreements and carbon pass through for various projects, including for power stations, windfarms, pulp mills and ammonia plants.

Infrastructure access and contracts - energy, rail, grain and water

  • Sydney Water - privatisation of Sydney Desalination Plant 
  • Sydney Water - access undertaking for water networks
  • Australian Rail Track Corporation - Hunter Valley access undertaking and contracts
  • GrainCorp - access undertaking for East Coast grain terminals
  • Orica - review of revocation of access regulation for the Moomba to Sydney gas pipeline
  • Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal - introduction of the new access laws applying to the water industry
  • NEMMCO - determination to approve a new electricity transmission interconnector and subsequent challenges in the National Electricity Tribunal and Victorian Supreme Court

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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