James Whistler

Finalist
2014

Transpower says James Whistler has been key to the company’s success in establishing the country’s first wholesale natural gas market.

Since November, the emsTradepoint market James developed and implemented has traded over 300 terajoules of gas worth a total of $1.8 million.

The success of James and his team was endorsed by ASX which has chosen to develop a New Zealand Gas futures contract based on the new gas spot market. The futures will be cash settled against an emsTradepoint natural gas index, also the country’s first natural gas index.

Transpower says the new market is a transformational business with wide ranging benefits to the gas and energy industry, achieved by shifting the industry’s focus and trend.

It is a liquid, transparent and accessible trading hub for natural gas that allows flexibility to the market and allows participants to better manage their gas requirements.

Transpower, and other gas industry players, recognise the deep experience in derivatives markets and the New Zealand gas industry that James brought to the project.

Workable model

While establishment of a wholesale gas market has long been a government policy objective, previous efforts had been unsuccessful.

The new market, which has shown continuous growth since launch, was underwritten by a Product Listing Agreement. The sponsors were OMV, Methanex and Vector Gas Contracts, with Transpower acting as a central counterparty.

Transpower says the success of the agreement, negotiated by James, reflects his commercial talent, awareness, sensitivity and respect in the industry.

Once the PLA was complete, James led establishment of the project. Transpower then invited him to apply for the job of running the new emsTradepoint market.

Transpower says James is focused, confident and decisive. Initiatives in previous roles, including his development of the Balancing Gas Exchange while at Maui Development Ltd., demonstrates his on-going commitment to development of the gas industry and markets and tools to serve it.

In October, Transpower won the Gas Industry Company’s contract to provide the allocation agent services to the gas market.

Transpower says James’ proposal to move the market to daily instead of monthly allocations was a key element in the firm winning the contract.

The Young Energy Executive of the Year category is sponsored by ABB