(Corrects 2nd paragraph to state that there were no blackouts in Sydney, but Adelaide)
* Eastern Australia has suffered from power, gas supply shortages
* Qado to act as asset manager, RCMA as marketer of natural gas
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Australian asset manager Qado and commodity merchant RCMA plan to jointly develop and market natural gas assets in the state of Queensland to sell the fuel in the country’s struggling power market.
Australia is rich in fossil fuels such as natural gas, but much of it is exported overseas, leading to a shortfall in domestic supplies. Several Australian states have suffered from electricity shortages, including a blackout in Adelaide in February.
The two companies hope to fill this supply gap and profit from high and volatile local power and gas prices.
“RCMA will support approved Eastern Australia Qado operated upstream projects with gas trading and marketing services, and direct investment to enable competitive gas supply to the Queensland domestic gas market,” the two companies said in a joint statement published late on Monday.
“Some of the assets are prospective gas acreage that the Queensland government has released,” said Andrew Koscharsky, Director for Energy at RCMA in Singapore.
RCMA and Qado did not provide details about the natural gas assets, citing commercial sensitivity during the negotiation process, but said the joint venture planned to “bring on stream a number of gas and liquids projects in the coming years.”
RCMA already trades natural gas and power in Australia’s wholesale market, and Koscharsky said the company was applying for a retail electricity licence through its subsidiary iSwitch.
“QADO and RCMA will work together with the aim of bringing more competitive gas to the Queensland domestic market through the iSwitch retail energy arm of RCMA,” he said.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Sunil Nair