22 Dec 2015

Shell NZ sells Maui pipeline to Australia

11:25 am on 22 December 2015

Shell New Zealand is selling the Maui gas pipeline to an Australian company.

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Photo: 123RF

The Maui pipeline, which has been operating for over 35 years, transports 78 percent of New Zealand's natural gas. It was put up for sale in October.

Earlier this month, Shell NZ chairman Rob Jager said this country was a great place to do business but ultimately was only a small part of its global operation.

Shell has been a big player in the energy scene for generations, and produces 70 percent of all natural gas in the country.

Until recently, Shell had petrol stations all over the country, but sold them to Infratil and the Superannuation Fund. They now form Z Energy.

The Maui pipeline buyer is Australian-based global infrastructure asset manager, First State Investments.

The same company recently agreed to purchase gas pipelines owned by Vector.

The sale price is $335 million, but the sale is conditional on getting regulatory approval.

The vendor, Maui Mining Company, is 83.75 percent owned by Shell, 10 percent by OMV New Zealand and 6.25 by Todd Energy.

The sale to the Australian company involves all three New Zealand owners.

Shell recently announced it was reviewing its ownership of all assets in New Zealand, but the offer to sell the pipeline preceded that announcement.

There is no word so far on what progress has been made on the overall asset review.