A consortium comprising Macquarie Asset Management and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) has agreed to buy a 60% stake in National Grid’s £9.6bn (€11.2bn) UK gas transmission and metering business.

As part of the deal, the consortium also has the option to buy the remaining 40% stake in the business at a future date, details of which will be announced if the option is exercised by the consortium.

National Grid is an energy company operating in the UK and US. The company owns and operates the 7,660km UK gas transmission system and an independent gas metering business.

Martin Bradley, the head of Macquarie Asset Management’s real assets team in EMEA, said: “The national transmission system is a critical enabler of the UK’s energy transition, providing the flexibility and reserve energy needed in the electricity system as the deployment of renewable sources of generation accelerates.

“However, if the UK’s net-zero by 2050 target is to be met, the country must have a next-generation transmission backbone to power homes and businesses with renewable energy. Backed by our significant investment, the transmission system will play a leading role in making the network ready for this transition.”

In doing so it will support the expansion of hydrogen’s role in the energy mix to deliver a competitive edge to the UK and its industry, while working closely with the government and Ofgem to maintain security of supply, Bradley said.

Lincoln Webb, the executive VP and global head of infrastructure and renewable resources at BCI, said: “This investment aligns well with our diversified portfolio of regulated utilities that securely deliver critical services to customers.

”We believe National Grid’s innovative decarbonisation strategy will ensure the business plays a leadership role in supporting the UK to achieve net-zero carbon emissions on target by 2050, while meeting consumer demand for reliable networks.”

John Pettigrew, the chief executive of National Grid, said: “The consortium has a long-term commitment to the UK with significant experience in owning and operating infrastructure assets.

”I look forward to our partnership and continuing to deliver safe and reliable gas service at the least cost to consumers.”

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