CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Who will pay the carbon tax?

With the carbon tax about to come into effect, we take a closer look at the companies liable to pay.

Climate Spectator

The Clean Energy Regulator recently published a list of 293 companies and organisations that will be liable to pay a charge of $23 for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit (or the equivalent amount from greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide) minus any free permits they have been provided.

In reality many of these companies are subsidiaries of much larger corporations so this probably overstates the extent of the impact. For example, BHP Billiton has at least eight subsidiaries listed as separate liable entitites, AGL has six and the relatively small Energy Developments Limited (EDL) lists five.

The companies that are liable are listed below under the following categories (click the link to go direct to each industry category) and in addition, the level of free permits the industry will be provided with in 2012-13 year is also noted.

1) Chemicals

2) Building and construction materials

3) Paper and packaging

4) Food processing

5) Glass packaging

6) Manufacturing general

7) Mining and waste services

8) Oil and gas

9) Petroleum refining

10) Metals processing

11) Mining

12) Coal Mining (Held liable because methane is inadvertently released in extracting the coal. They are not held liable for emissions associated with combustion of the coal)

13) Gas distribution (held liable for any leakage of methane from pipelines)

14) Power generation and gas retail

15) Waste disposal (mainly local government councils responsible for managing local rubbish tips)

CHEMICALS

Chemical products that qualify for 94.5 per cent free permits: methanol, ethylene, soda ash, ammonium nitrate, ammonia, propene, chlorine gas and sodium hydroxide.

Chemical products that qualify for 66 per cent free permits: urea, polyethylene.

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BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

Cement and lime production will qualify for 94.5 per cent free permits. Bricks and timber will not receive free permits.

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PAPER AND PACKAGING

Most paper manufacturing in including production of pulp will qualify for 94.5 per cent free permits except tissue paper which will qualify for 66 per cent free permits.

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FOOD PROCESSING

Food processing does not qualify for free permits except Shoalhaven Starches will qualify for 66 per cent free permits for any production of ethanol.
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GLASS PACKAGING

Glass packaging qualifies for 66 per cent free permits.

OWENS-ILLINOIS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

MANUFACTURING GENERAL

No eligibility for free permits.

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MINING AND WASTE SERVICES

No eligibility for free permits.

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OIL AND GAS

The liquefaction process for gas qualifies for 66 per cent free permits.
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OIL REFINING

Oil refining qualifies for 94.5 per cent free permits
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METALS PROCESSING

All metal processing except for nickel qualify for either 94.5 per cent or 66 per cent free permits.

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MINING

The production of magnetite concentrate, iron ore pellets and white titanium dioxide pigment qualify for 66 per cent free permits.

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COAL MINING

Only a small number of underground coal mines with emissions of 0.1 tonne of CO2 per  tonne of coal extracted will qualify for assistance which is limited to five years duration.

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GAS DISTRIBUTION

No free permits will be provided.

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POWER GENERATION AND GAS RETAIL

Power plants with emissions intensity above 1 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt hour of electricity generated will qualify for cash and free permit assistance of $5.5 billion. Only coal-fired power plants will qualify, generally either old plant or plant using coal with high amounts of moisture (brown coal).

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WASTE DISPOSAL

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