MELBOURNE, May 4 (Reuters) – French company Total SA is looking to expand its electricity distribution activities in Australia from the middle of this year as part of a global plan to sell electricity to nine million sites by 2023.
Total is already selling electricity to the Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, in which it is a stakeholder, and wishes to supply electricity to other large customers in the eastern states of Australia, he said in a request to the Australian Energy Regulator.
“The target market proposed by TGPAU is the very largest customer in the market (for example, industrial and government customers),” said Total Gas & Power Australia (TGPAU) in its application.
The request was filed in March and released Monday by the regulator for public comment.
Total told Reuters that it is seeking the license to sell to large customers who are interested in purchasing green energy.
It added that it was developing renewable energy production activities through its subsidiary Total Eren, which is currently building a 256-megawatt solar farm in Australia.
“Quantities should be limited, they should not exceed 2 terawatt hours per year (TWh) for the foreseeable future, compared to a turnover of around more than 50 TWh in Europe,” the company said.
The big oil and gas company is targeting a market similar to that of its rival Royal Dutch Shell, which last year entered the Australian electricity sector by acquiring ERM Power, the country’s second largest energy retailer from businesses and to industry.
In 2018, Total reported having sold 37 TWh of electricity to more than 5 million customers and traded 250 TWh of electricity in 11 countries.
Total’s footprint in Australia includes interests in the Ichthys LNG project in northern Australia, solar parks in Victoria and New South Wales and a battery project in Western Australia. (Report by Sonali Paul, additional report by Bate Felix in Paris; editing by Anil D’Silva and Mark Potter)