The acquisition of the Maui Pipeline by First Gas Limited has been completed following all necessary regulatory and government approvals.
In late 2015, First State Funds, the owners of First Gas Limited, agreed to acquire the Maui Pipeline from Shell , Todd and OMV (collectively known as the Maui Mining Companies) for NZ$335 million.
The Maui Pipeline is New Zealand’s largest high pressure transmission pipeline running from the Oaonui Production Station south of New Plymouth to the Huntly Power Station south of Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand.
The 307 km pipeline will be operated by First Gas, which also operates the former gas transmission and distribution network owned by Vector Gas Limited (VGL) following First State Funds’ recent purchase of VGL from Vector Limited.
The Maui Pipeline was built exclusively for delivering gas from the Maui natural gas field in the 1970s. The pipeline has transported gas from multiple gas fields since an Open Access Regime was established in 2005, creating a successful standalone pipeline business.
Today, the Maui Pipeline is a significant energy infrastructure asset transporting around 78% of all natural gas produced in New Zealand, says First Gas interim CEO, Richard Krogh.
“In purchasing the Maui Pipeline in addition to the VGL gas network, First Gas will own and operate New Zealand’s most significant gas transmission and distribution network,” Mr. Krogh said.
The combined network will comprise of 2,500 kms of high pressure gas transmission pipelines and stations that supply natural gas from Taranaki to industrial consumers throughout the North Island, as well as 4,800 kms of distribution pipelines in Northland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, the Central Plateau and the Kapiti Coast servicing more than 60,000 end customers.
First Gas is currently the System Operator and Technical Operator of the Maui Pipeline. It will also take on the role of Commercial Operator following the acquisition.
“With the commercial operation staff and facilities being engaged by First Gas, the company will continue to build on an experienced team operating a vital energy infrastructure asset for New Zealand,” Mr. Krogh said.
First Gas Limited – ph 06 755 0861
The Maui Pipeline is New Zealand’s largest high pressure transmission pipeline. It runs 307 km from the Oaonui Production Station (south of New Plymouth) to the Huntly Power Station (south of Auckland) in the North Island of New Zealand. The pipeline is made of steel and ranges in diameter from 750mm to 850mm. It traverses some of New Zealand’s most inhospitable terrain.
Beginning transmission in 1979 the Maui Pipeline carried 17.9 PJ of Māui gas in its first year of operation. As a reflection of how important gas has become as an energy source for New Zealand industries, in 2015 it carried 142.7 PJ of gas. More than 60% of the gas goes to three consumers who take direct delivery from the Maui Pipeline: the Huntly Power Station (15% in 2015) and the two methanol plants owned by Methanex (47% in 2015).
Gas from the Maui Pipeline flows into the rest of the First Gas transmission pipeline system at 13 interconnection points. It is then used to supply major industrial plants, dairy factories and power stations.
Gas originally transported through the Maui Pipeline is also used to supply local low pressure distribution networks in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, and many other towns and cities throughout the North Island. These distribution networks supply gas to thousands of homes, businesses and essential services such as hospitals.
The Maui Pipeline operates under an ‘Open-Access’ regime. This means that as well as transporting gas from the Maui field, it transports gas owned by other parties from other fields.
About First State Funds
First State Funds comprises the Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund and Colonial First State Active Infrastructure Income Fund and fund co-investors all managed by First State Investments. First State Investments is a leading global infrastructure asset manager, with approximately $7 billion of equity invested in infrastructure assets across Australia, New Zealand and Europe over a 20 year period. First State Investments has made 16 utility investments over that time; with existing investments including Ferngas (German gas network), EVG (German gas network), Reganosa (Spanish gas storage), ANZ Terminals (Australian and New Zealand bulk liquid storage network), Electricity North West (UK electricity distribution network), Caruna (Finnish electricity network) and Anglian Water Group (UK water utility).