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Fixed delivery exit arrangement

02 June 2022

Contents

Fixed delivery exit window

Milestone delivery datesStatus
4 March 2022 to 30 June 2022 (including milestones extended under transitional arrangements)Now open

Background

On 4 March 2022, changes were announced to Commonwealth Government administration of fixed delivery carbon abatement contracts (CACs).

CACs are commercial agreements between the Commonwealth (the ‘Buyer’) and a third party (the ‘Seller’). Fixed delivery CACs identify at least one associated Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project. However, Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) may be sourced from any projects or from the private market to meet delivery obligations.

The fixed delivery exit arrangement (‘exit arrangement’) provides that the Buyer would make available to Sellers an optional alternative pathway to satisfy contractual obligations for fixed delivery contracts, by making an exit payment instead of delivering ACCUs for the contracted price. The exit payment is calculated by multiplying the contract price by the quantity of outstanding ACCUs for the milestone. The process is undertaken in line with existing clauses in carbon abatement contracts (including clause 9.3).

How to apply for the exit arrangement

Sellers considering applying for the exit arrangement are encouraged to review the documentasset:exit arrangement decision tree, which provides a simplified outline of the application process and key decision points.

There is a three-step settlement process under the exit arrangement:

  1. Application: Submit notice and offer to settle relating to ACCUs that will not be delivered under the exit arrangement. Sellers or authorised representatives must submit an application containing the notice and offer via the Client Portal.
  2. Conditional approval: If the offer is assessed as eligible, the Clean Energy Regulator will provide conditional approval and an invoice for the payment of the exit payment. The approval is conditional upon the exit payment being paid in full by the milestone delivery date.
  3. Settlement: Payment of invoice is made in full and received before or on the nominated delivery milestone date.

The conditional approval intends to provide Sellers with confidence in undertaking third-party transactions, if they choose, prior to making their exit payment to the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Clean Energy Regulator will aim to process applications within 30 business days.

The exit arrangement is being offered on a pilot basis for the current exit window (4 March to 30 June) and may be subject to refinement for future exit windows.

Eligibility

The Clean Energy Regulator will assess eligibility to participate in the exit arrangement in Step 2 of the three-step process.

In assessing a request, the following eligibility requirements apply:

  • the nominated milestone delivery date(s) must fall due in the open window for the exit arrangement for which the Clean Energy Regulator is currently accepting applications
  • the Sellers must continue to be compliant with the contract(s)
  • the Sellers must remain in good standing with the Clean Energy Regulator, and
  • the requirements in the benefit sharing framework must be satisfied.

Benefit sharing framework

The benefit sharing framework sets out the requirements for Sellers to be eligible for the exit arrangement. Please refer to the Benefit sharing framework for further details.

The benefit sharing framework was finalised following consultation in April 2022. An overview of consultation outcomes is available on the Consultation Hub.

All parties involved in benefit sharing discussions should carefully consider their own circumstances and seek external financial and/or legal advice.

Frequently asked questions

What does it mean to be ‘compliant with the contract(s)’ and ‘in good standing’?

Sellers are considered to be compliant with the contract(s) where there are no outstanding contractual obligations related to delivery failures. Sellers are considered to be ‘in good standing’ where any negotiations with the Clean Energy Regulator have been conducted in good faith. Where a Seller holds multiple contracts, their eligibility is informed by their conduct across all such contracts.

How do I find out when applications open for upcoming windows? Can I apply ahead of applications opening?

Please refer to Fixed delivery exit windows for information for application opening dates for current and upcoming fixed delivery exit windows.

Contract holders will be eligible to apply for the exit arrangement as fixed milestone delivery dates fall due within six-month windows each year, with applications opening ahead of each window between:

  • 1 January and 30 June, and
  • 1 July and 31 December

This approach intends to moderate the rate at which ACCUs are released to give the market time to adjust to new supply. It also provides fixed contract holders with clarity about when their milestones will be eligible and time to pay the exit payment. Applications will not be accepted for milestones that are not within an open window.

Can I still deliver or partially deliver a contracted milestone after I submit an application or receive conditional approval?

Submitting an application or receiving conditional approval does not prevent you from delivering the milestone as per existing contractual arrangements. Should you wish to make deliveries and receive payment under the existing contract terms, you will be able to do so until the exit payment has been paid.

However, any delivery of ACCUs subject to an exit arrangement application to the Clean Energy Regulator after an application has been submitted will void the application for the exit arrangement and any associated conditional approval.

Where you anticipate making a partial delivery towards a delivery milestone, you are advised to do so prior to submitting an application for the remaining delivery under the exit arrangement to avoid needing to seek conditional approval multiple times.

How will the exit payment be calculated?

The exit payment will be calculated by multiplying the contract price by the quantity of ACCUs to be released. GST is not payable on the exit payment.

The quantity of ACCUs to be released will be the outstanding volume of the nominated delivery milestone subject to the application.

Do I need to have ACCUs in my account to participate? Can I accumulate released ACCUs in my account? Are the released ACCUs required to be subsequently sold on the private market?

Eligibility to participate does not depend on ACCU holdings or anticipated ACCU issuance. While benefit sharing requirements need to be satisfied, the exit arrangement does not impose additional requirements relating to the sale or other use of ACCUs.

What are the payment terms for the exit payment invoice?

The invoice must be paid in full by the nominated milestone delivery date otherwise the conditional approval will be deemed to be void. Note for the first application window (milestones due between March 4 and 30 June 2022) an extension to 31 August 2022 is available.

If the invoice is not paid in full on or before the milestone delivery date and ACCUs are not delivered, the full contractual obligations relating to delivery failures will be applicable.

How long will it take to receive conditional approval after I submit an application?

The Clean Energy Regulator aims to assess completed applications within 30 business days. Sellers are advised to take processing times and milestone delivery dates into account to avoid delivery failures.

The Clean Energy Regulator may make a request for further information to complete an assessment. A deadline for responding to a request for further information will be set and if missed, the application may be declined.

Can I change the nominated bank details/the Seller details/the parties covered by the benefit sharing framework after I have submitted an application?

Any changes to bank account details after an application has been submitted will void conditional approvals. As the nominated bank accounts under CACs will be used for refunds, it is important that any changes are properly vetted to avoid the risk of funds being inappropriately directed.

Conditional approval will also be voided based on the below:

  • Any of the Sellers under the nominated contract change.
  • The relevant parties covered by the benefit sharing framework change.

Sellers who wish to change the nominated bank details/the Seller details/the parties covered by the benefit sharing framework will need to submit a new application for the exit arrangement after the changes have been made.

Market information

The Clean Energy Regulator will publish information on the volume of ACCUs that could be released in each exit arrangement window when the window opens. This will refer to a volume of ACCUs up to a certain amount, noting that some Sellers may choose not to take up the exit arrangements. ACCUs may be delivered to milestones in the exit window after the information is published.

After each window has closed and it is clear how many ACCUs have been released as a result of the exit arrangement, the Clean Energy Regulator will publish this information to support transparency and inform market decisions.

For example: The 4 March 2022 to 30 June 2022 window is now open. Up to 5.8 million ACCUs are scheduled for delivery in this windows, and could be released under the exit arrangement. However, as the exit arrangement is opt-in, not all volume scheduled for delivery in this window will necessarily be made available to the spot market. Also, some Sellers may choose to enter into longer term offtake agreements with private buyers covering subsequent delivery periods. If so, some ACCUs released under the exit arrangements in subsequent periods also may not be made available to the spot market.

The Clean Energy Regulator proposes the following schedule for publication:

TimingInformation
When each window opensVolume of ACCUs scheduled for delivery in the current window
2 weeks after each window closesOutcome: Volume of ACCUs that are released as a result of the exit arrangement for that window.
WindowDescriptionVolume
Previous windowOutcome – Fixed delivery milestones settled via the exit arrangementn/a
Current window – applications now open
(4 March 2022 to 30 June 2022)
Fixed delivery milestones scheduled for deliveryUp to 5.8 million ACCUs*

Notes:

  • All data is at 27 May 2022.
  • Not all participating volumes may result in ACCUs being offered to the private market within that window.
  • For the current window, 57 expressions of interest (EOI) have been received for 1.5 million ACCUs for the current window, noting that:
    • Not all milestones subject to an EOI may choose to proceed with the exit arrangement, and
    • Sellers who have not submitted an EOI may still choose to apply for the exit arrangement.
  • *Milestones that are eligible to participate in the current window and were subsequently moved up to 31 August 2022 under the transitional arrangement are included in the potential volumes in the current window.
  • The data takes account of ACCUs already delivered.

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