SHELL and its partners have finalised the sale of the Māui natural gas pipeline to infrastructure funds managed by First State Investments, an arm of Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM).

The Māui pipeline, which transports around 78 per cent of all natural gas produced in New Zealand, was 83.75% owned by Shell New Zealand, with OMV NZ holding 10% and Todd Energy 6.25%.

Chairman of Shell New Zealand Rob Jager said the pipeline had been operating for nearly four decades, adding that it was a key infrastructure asset in transporting natural gas north from many gas fields in Taranaki.

“We are delighted that such an important asset in this country’s energy infrastructure will be managed by First State Investments, a leading global infrastructure asset manager with strong expertise in this area,” he said.

First announced late last year, the sale was completed for NZ$335 million after First State secured New Zealand regulatory approvals under the Overseas Investment Act.

First State Investments also recently completed the purchase of 100 per cent of First Gas Limited (FGL), formerly known as Vector Gas Limited (VGL), from Vector Limited, giving it the Vector gas transmission network and a major part of its gas distribution network in New Zealand.

The NZ$952.5 million sale of Vector gas was authorised in April, with CFSGAM director of infrastructure investment Gavin Kerr saying the deal had enjoyed strong local support.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with stakeholders to grow the business and position it to pursue other complementary opportunities,” he said at the time.