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Maui Mining to sell natural gas pipeline to First State Investments

The Maui Mining Companies (MMCs), which is majority owned by Royal Dutch Shell, will sell the Maui natural gas pipeline to infrastructure funds managed by Australia-based First State Investments for NZD335m ($228m).

The pipeline transports around 78% of all natural gas produced in New Zealand. It was built in 1970s to deliver gas from the Maui natural gas field.

Recently, First State Investments agreed to purchase 100% of Vector Gas (VGL) from Vector which owns the Vector gas transmission network and a major portion of its New Zealand gas distribution network.

Maui Development chairman Rob Jager said: “The Maui natural gas pipeline has been operating successfully for nearly four decades and whilst built exclusively for the Maui 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 Maui pipeline.”

The sale is subject various conditions such as obtaining regulatory approvals.

MMCs and First State Investments expect to finalise the transaction by the middle of 2016.

Shell owns an 83.75% stake in the pipeline, OMV has a 10% stake and Todd Energy holds 6.25%.

The high pressure Maui transmission pipeline runs 307km from the Oaonui Production Station to the Huntly Power Station in the North Island of New Zealand.

The pipeline is made of steel and ranges in diameter from 750mm to 850mm.

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