The sale price is NZD335 million. First State Investments is an Australian based global infrastructure asset manager that also recently agreed to purchase 100% of Vector Gas Limited (VGL) from Vector Limited. VGL owns the Vector gas transmission network and a major part of its gas distribution network in New Zealand.
The MMCs have been operating (through Māui Development Limited) the Māui pipeline for over 35 years. The pipeline was built exclusively for delivering gas from the Māui natural gas field in the 1970s. The pipeline has transported gas from multiple gas fields since an Open Access Regime was established in 2005. As a standalone pipeline business it was no longer necessary for the MMCs to own the infrastructure.
Chairman of both Māui Development Limited and Shell Companies in New Zealand, Rob Jager says the sale is a pleasing development for New Zealanders.
“The Māui natural gas pipeline has been operating successfully for nearly four decades and whilst built exclusively for the Māui natural gas field it is now a key asset in transporting gas from many gas fields in Taranaki. We are pleased that such an important asset of this country’s energy infrastructure will be managed by First State Investments, a leading global infrastructure asset manager with strong expertise in this area, and having recently acquired the Vector transmission gas business which has also been the technical operator of the Māui pipeline,” says Rob Jager.
The sale is conditional on certain regulatory approvals being obtained by First State Investments but the parties hope to finalise the transaction by the middle of 2016.
It should be noted the future of the Māui pipeline has been under consideration for a long time by the MMCs and is separate from the review of the Shell New Zealand business announced recently (10th December).
*MMCs: Shell 83.75%, OMV NZ 10% and Todd Energy 6.25%.
Note: First State Funds refers to two infrastructure funds managed by First State Investments (known in Australia as Colonial First State Global Asset Management or CFSGAM), the Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund (GDIF) and the Colonial First State Active Infrastructure Income Fund (AIIF).
Media enquiries to: Jacqueline Baker (Shell) +64 (0)27 477 5137.