THE AUSTRALIAN Competition and Consumer Commission has given the three liquefied natural gas producers permission to discuss their schedules, techniques and providers of maintenance services.

The Queensland Curtis LNG project, Gladstone LNG and Australia Pacific LNG projects have permission to hold the discussions for the next five years.

The three facilities also purchase gas in nearby wholesale markets when the plants are operational, leading them to redirect the gas when their facilities are offline.

“Wholesale gas traders raised concerns that coordination between the LNG facilities would allow them to trade advantageously in gas markets, because each LNG facility will know when maintenance is going to occur,” the ACCC said.

To address this, the ACCC has imposed a condition of authorisation requiring the LNG producers to publicly disclose maintenance schedule information that they share with each other.

The condition has been formulated in consultation with the LNG producers and market participants.

The five year limit will allow the ACCC to reconsider the policy in future, it said.