An energy infrastructure business owned by Australian superannuation funds, MTAA Super and Commonwealth Bank Group Super, has acquired a portfolio of natural gas assets from AGL Energy Limited.

Whitehelm Capital, which manages Sustainable Energy Infrastructure on behalf of the superannuation funds, said it has agreed to buy AGL’s National Assets, an Australia-wide portfolio of small generation and compressed natural gas refuelling assets.

AGL, the ASX-listed renewable energy investor said the National Assets were recorded in the company’s accounts for the six months ended 31 December 2017 with a carrying value of A$74m (€46m).

The sale is consistent with AGL’s strategy of divesting non-core assets, it said. 

The portfolio comprises a number of contracted cogeneration, biomass and biogas generation, gas generation, landfill generation, landfill flare facilities, and compressed natural gas refuelling assets. 

The assets are located across six states in Australia, are fully operational under long-term contracts, and diversified by geography, feedstock, technology, and customers.

Independent infrastructure manager Whitehelm said the investment by Sustainable Energy Infrastructure is in line with the manager’s approach of investing in mid-market infrastructure assets that benefit from long-term contractual relationships with off-takers. 

Whitehelm said it has identified a pipeline of similar opportunities in Australia, developed Asia, and Europe.

Saji Anantakrishnan, the head of Whitehelm Capital’s Australia and Asia business, said: “The Sustainable Energy Infrastructure business is consistent with our focus on stable, mid-market infrastructure assets across Australia and developed Asia and we look forward to working with the experienced management team to grow the business.

“This acquisition follows the successful refinancing of a Whitehelm-managed 104MW multi-fuel cogeneration facility in Western Australia and the expansion of our sustainable energy footprint across Australasia.”

Anantakrishnan added that while large trophy assets sold through competitive auctions are attracting very high prices, the mid-market continues to provide good investment opportunities for investors seeking stable returns from true infrastructure assets.