|Founded||February 2000, but parts of the business date from the 20th century|
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Frank Calabria (CEO) (MD)|
|Products||Electricity, natural gas, solar panels, LPG, hot water, heating and cooling, electric vehicle charging, broadband|
|Revenue||A$14,727 million (2019)|
|A$1,028 million (Underlying) (2019)|
Number of employees
Origin Energy an ASX listed public company with headquarters in Sydney. It is a major integrated electricity generator, and electricity and natural gas retailer. It operates Australia’s largest coal-fired power station at Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.
Origin Energy was formed 18 February 2000, as a result of a demerger of the Australian conglomerate, Boral Limited, which saw the energy business formed as a new company, separate from the building and construction materials business. SAGASCO became part of Origin Energy as part of the demerger.
Between 2001 and 2002, Origin acquired a Victorian electricity retailer licence from distributors Powercor and CitiPower. In 2004, the SEAGas pipeline was completed, linking the Victorian and South Australian gas markets. During this time, Origin obtained 50% interest in the Kupe Gas Field and Edison Mission Energy's 51.4% interest in New Zealand's Contact Energy. Origin sold its 53% shareholding in Contact Energy to the market in 2015.
On 27 November 2006, the Queensland Government announced the sale of Sun Retail Pty Ltd, the former retailing arm of Energex to Origin for $1.202 billion.
On 15 December 2010, Origin Energy announced that it would purchase the retail divisions of Country Energy and Integral Energy from the Government of New South Wales, at a total cost of A$3.25 billion, as well as entering a GenTrader agreement with Eraring Energy (in which Origin supplies fuel, pays certain charges, and can dispatch and sell electricity output, while Eraring Energy owns, operates and maintains the power stations). The transaction was completed on 1 March 2011.
The company's portfolio includes the Bowen and Surat Basins in Queensland, Browse Basin in Western Australia, and the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory. In 2017 Origin sold its subsidiary Lattice Energy and its conventional upstream oil and gas business to Beach Energy for $1,585 million.
Origin Energy is a major shareholder together with US giant ConocoPhillips and China's Sinopec, in a joint venture of Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG). The project consists of development of Australia Pacific LNG's gas fields in the Surat and Bowen Basins, construction of a 530 km gas transmission pipeline from the gas fields to an LNG facility on Curtis Island and construction of an LNG facility on Curtis Island.
On 26 October 2017, gas producer and exporter APLNG entered into a sales agreement with Origin Energy, to supply 41 petajoules of gas under a 14-month contract starting 1 November. The contract brings the company's total commitment to 186 PJ for 2018, representing almost 30% of Australian east coast domestic gas market demand.
Origin has approximately 4.217 million customers, servicing both large energy customers and the residential and small business market. Australia has predominantly two tiers of energy providers, A Tier 1 provider is any energy provider that holds more than 10% of the market share in any network region. Tier 2 energy providers are those that hold less than 10% of the market share within a network region. Origin Energy is a Tier 1 energy retailer.
Origin operates is able to generate 6,010 MW of electricity capacity. This represents approximately 13 per cent of power generation capacity in the National Electricity Market.
|Power station||State||Location||Capacity MW||Peak/base||Commissioned||Fuel||Notes|
|Darling Downs Power Station||Queensland||Dalby||644||Baseload||2010||coal seam gas from the Surat Basin|
|Roma Power Station||Queensland||Roma||80||Peaking||1999||Gas||built by Boral|
|Mortlake Power Station||Victoria||12 km west of Mortlake||566||Peaking||2012||Otway Basin gas||Largest gas-fired power station in Victoria|
|Ladbroke Grove Power Station||South Australia||Penola||80||Peaking||2000||Natural gas|
|Quarantine Power Station||South Australia||Torrens Island||224||Peaking||2000 (enlarged in 2009)||Gas|
|Uranquinty Power Station||New South Wales||Uranquinty||664||Peaking||2009||Gas|
|Eraring Power Station||New South Wales||Dora Creek||2880||Baseload||1982||Coal||Australia's largest power station|
|Mount Stuart Power Station||Queensland||Stuart, Townsville||423||Peaking||1999||Kerosene||North Queensland's largest power station. Open-cycle gas turbine|
|Shoalhaven Hydro Pump Storage Scheme||New South Wales||Kangaroo Valley and Bendeela||240||Peaking||two pumped storage hydropower stations Water|
|Osborne Cogeneration Plant||South Australia||Osborne||180||Baseload and peak||jointly owned by Origin and ATCO Power|
|Worsley Cogeneration Plant||Western Australia||Worsley||60||provides steam and power to the Worsley Alumina Refinery. Jointly owned by Origin and Verve Energy|
|Dandenong Cogeneration Plant||Victoria||Dandenong||120||gas||In partnership with Places Victoria, Australia's first urban distributed energy precinct|
|Bendigo and Ballarat Solar Parks||Victoria||Ballarat and Bendigo||0.300||2009||Solar||generate a total of 710 MWh of power per year|
In January 2017, The Guardian reported allegations of whistleblower Sally McDow, a former compliance manager at Origin. She claimed that the company had ignored various wellfield integrity problems, including failing to maintain hundreds of wells across Australia and New Zealand, failing to seal wells after their active lives and failing to report incidents internally or to the appropriate regulators. She also described a culture of bullying and harassment within the organisation. She said that she had advised the CEO at the time, and Grant King (then President of the Business Council of Australia) but that King did not want the incidents reported. He allegedly stated that the incidents could be used by opponents of the unconventional gas industry to delay or halt current or future projects. Origin denied the allegations.
Origin was approved by the Northern Territory government to start fracking in August 2019 and drilling commenced in October 2019. Fracking began in September 2020 following a six-month COVID-19 induced stand down. Origin has postponed production at their Kyalla well site to the second half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Concerns were expressed by local officials on the fracking operation, fearing that it could affect their ability to get groundwater and stating the local officials did not fully understand the contracts they were signing with petroleum companies. Accusations that Origin did not consult with traditional landowners before starting their planned exploration were refuted by the Northern Land Council which stated it understood the text in the contracts and consulted with traditional Aboriginal landowners. Origin stated that it conducted multiple checks when installing a well and that fracking stops if a check fails.
In December 2020, Origin was fined $126,000 after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission issued an infringement for misleading information regarding price increases in a letter sent out to Victorian customers in December 2019. Origin stated in the letter that electricity prices were changing because of the Victorian Essential Services Commission's increase to the Victorian Default Offer, an unrelated price set by the Essential Services Commission. However, the ACCC stated that the price increase was entirely Origin's choice and they chose to increase prices.
In October 2021 Origin was fined $5 million for charging 22,371 customers prohibited exit fees totaling $489,774. Origin received complaints about the fees in 2018 but continued charging them until 2020. The Essential Services Commission stated “Origin Energy knew at all times about the changes in the law banning exit fees and they even reviewed 19 different contract templates but didn’t remove the exit fees”. By October 2021 fewer than half the wrongly charged exit fees had been reimbursed.