In the proposed transaction, PGGM will take over a 33.2% stake in NOGAT B.V. (Northern Offshore Gas Transport) from GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V. Other shareholders in NOGAT B.V. include EBN, Total E&P Nederland and Centrica Production Nederland. GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V. will continue to be a shareholder and the operator. The transaction is subject to European Commission approval.
In total NOGAT B.V. transports approximately one third of the offshore natural gas produced on the Dutch continental shelf. It also participates in a gas treatment station in Den Helder where the gas is brought up to specification for further transport via the Gasunie Transport Services gas network. These activities make NOGAT an important part of the Dutch natural gas infrastructure.
Henk Huizing, Head of Infrastructure at PGGM, says it is an attractive investment: "It provides a stable return and the fact that we also receive annual inflation compensation is very important to us. As such this investment fits in very well with the long-term commitments of our clients, the pension funds. It also means a significant expansion of our Dutch infrastructure portfolio.”
A number of natural gas producers on the Dutch continental shelf are connected to the NOGAT network. Natural gas production on the North Sea is stimulated by the Dutch government as part of its ‘small fields policy’. The government has also expressed its ambition for the Netherlands to become and remain Europe’s ‘gas roundabout’, thanks to the country’s highly developed gas infrastructure.
Huizing: “The Netherlands has a stable gas policy, which makes it interesting for a long-term investor like PGGM to invest in the natural gas infrastructure on behalf of its clients. The pension funds say they want to contribute to strengthening the Dutch economy with responsible investments, as long as these are in the best interest of the participants.”
Also connected to the NOGAT network are pipelines that supply gas produced on the German and Danish continental shelves. This also means that the NOGAT network, built in 1992, will be utilised for a long time to come.
PGGM is a cooperative Dutch pension fund service provider. PGGM offers its institutional clients: pension fund management, comprehensive asset management, policy advice and management support. Currently – on behalf of five pension funds – PGGM manages approximately EUR 140 billion for 2.5 million people. As a cooperative with more than 580,000 members, PGGM is helping to achieve a valuable future. Either alone or with strategic partners, PGGM is developing innovative future provisions by linking together pensions, care, housing and work. More information can be found at www.pggm.nl.