Australian Gas Light Company

The Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) was an Australian gas and electricity retailer. It was formed in Sydney in 1837, and supplied town gas for the first public lighting of a street lamp in Sydney in 1841[1] AGL was the second company to list on the Sydney Stock Exchange. The company gradually diversified into electricity and into a number of different locations. After a combination of a merger and demerger with Alinta in 2006, it was replaced by AGL Energy.[2]

Australian Gas Light Company
IndustryElectricity generation
SuccessorAGL Energy
Founded1837 (1837)
Defunct2006 (2006)


In 1837, AGL was given a royal charter charged with the responsibility of lighting Sydney's streets. The lights were lit on 24 May 1841 to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria. Town gas was first stored in holder tanks hewn out of solid sandstone at Darling Harbour.[3] Later, a large gas works at Mortlake supplied gas which was used over an area of 600 square kilometres and piped up to 25 kilometres away. The Mortlake Ferry was constructed with the express purpose of delivering workers who lived on the north side of the harbour to their workplace.[4] By 1925, the company was the seventh largest gas undertaking in the British Empire.[5]

In 1976, AGL converted from town gas to natural gas following the opening of the Moomba to Sydney Pipeline. In the later part of the 20th century, the company diversified into electricity generation, buying a stake in the Loy Yang Power Station and ownership of the Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme, the Wattle Point Wind Farm, and a peak load gas-powered power station near Hallett in South Australia.[6] The company also had significant ownership of gas pipelines plus electricity and gas distribution networks in Australia.

In late 2006, AGL merged with Alinta and then demerged to create separate retail and infrastructure companies.[7] The transactions were executed on 25 October 2006 via two schemes of arrangement, resulting in a revised Alinta holding both companies’ combined infrastructure and asset management businesses, and AGL Energy, which holds AGL’s energy business as well as approximately one third of Alinta’s West Australian retail and cogeneration business (AlintaAGL).[8]


  1. ^ History of Natural Gas in Australia. Archived 2011-02-16 at the Wayback Machine Energysafe Victoria, accessed 28 February 2011.
  2. ^ "AGL - Alinta Transaction: Class Ruling" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  3. ^ Australian gas Light Company. Sydney Plaques, accessed 28 February 2011.
  4. ^ Cable Ferry Crossing, Mortlake. RTA NSW, accessed 28 February 2011.
  5. ^ Subterranean Sydney. Sydney Architecture, accessed 28 February 2011.
  6. ^ "AGL power plant delivers new energy to SA market" (Press release). Australian Gas Light Company. 17 January 2002. Archived from the original on 22 August 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2006.
  7. ^ "AGL lodges scheme booklet with ASIC" (Press release). Australian Gas Light Company. 10 August 2006. Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2006.
  8. ^ "Alinta Ltd merger with the Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) - October 2006". Australian Taxation Office. 18 January 2007. Archived from the original on 16 September 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2007.

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