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Rate-of-return regulation to unlock natural gas pipeline deployment: Insights from a Mozambican project

Perrotton, F. and Massol, O. (2020). Rate-of-return regulation to unlock natural gas pipeline deployment: Insights from a Mozambican project. Energy Economics, 85, 104537.. doi: 10.1016/j.eneco.2019.104537

Abstract

In poor developing countries, the discovery of large gas deposits often stimulates the public authorities’ appetite for ambitious development strategies requiring the construction of a large national pipeline system. However, the foreign private investors financing its installation usually prefer smaller infrastructure designs that are solely intended to supply a few creditworthy industrial sites. Focusing on the situation in Mozambique, we examine whether the adoption of rate-of-return (RoR) regulation can reconcile these conflicting objectives. As a first step, we assess the magnitude of the overcapitalization generated ex ante at the planning stage by the application of RoR regulation (i.e., the Averch-Johnson effect) to the investors. Then, analyzing the ex post situation when the enlarged domestic demand materializes, we prove that the allowable rate of return can be set by the regulator to obtain ex ante the degree of overcapitalization needed ex post to serve the enlarged demand in a cost-efficient manner. We finally discuss whether RoR regulation can still protect society from monopoly prices when it is tuned to prompt an optimal degree of building ahead of proven demand.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: Natural gas, Pipeline, Regulatory economics, Developing countries, Mozambique, Building-ahead of demand, Overcapitalization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Economics
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2020 08:39
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23572
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 19 April 2021 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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