NETHERLANDS – The €140bn asset manager PGGM is to make a large infrastructure investment in an offshore pipeline network for natural gas.
In the proposed transaction, PGGM would take a 33.2% stake in NOGAT, the owner of the Northern Offshore Gas Transport system.
A PGGM spokesman declined to disclose the exact amount of the investment.
However, he indicated that it was "way over" €100m, "as our infrastructure investments are always at least €100m".
NOGAT carries approximately one-third of natural gas produced on the Dutch continental shelf to the Netherlands, and also participates in an onshore gas-treatment plant.
According to PGGM, these activities make NOGAT an important part of the Dutch natural gas infrastructure.
Henk Huizing, PGGM's head of infrastructure, said: "The planned investment is attractive, as it provides Dutch inflation-linked returns, which fits very well with the long-term commitments of our clients."
The Dutch government encourages gas production on the North Sea as part of its 'small fields policy'.
The NOGAT network is being used by several gas producers, including companies on the German and Danish continental shelves.
The Dutch government has expressed its aim to become Europe's "gas roundabout" due to its highly developed gas infrastructure.
"The Netherlands has a stable gas policy, which makes it attractive to invest in the network," Huizing said.
"In addition, our clients have also indicated that they are willing to contribute to the Dutch economy through responsible investments, as long as these are in the best interest of their participants."
The proposed transaction is still subject to European Commission approval.
PGGM is the asset manager and pensions provider for five Dutch pension funds, including the €132bn healthcare scheme PFZW.
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