DIF takes 25% of Australian jet fuel pipeline

The deal is the fourth agreed by the Dutch fund manager in Australia and the second from its Core Infrastructure Fund.

DIF has bought a 25 percent stake in the 34km Somerton Pipeline in Australia, providing 85 percent of the jet fuel to Australia’s second-busiest airport.

The pipeline supplies fuel to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, running from the Altona Refinery to the Somerton Depot before being transported to the airport. Marko Kremer, DIF’s head of Australasia, described the asset as “a critical piece of the supply chain infrastructure”.

DIF declined to disclose the purchase price or the identity of the vendor. In 2004, First State bought into the project, taking a 25 percent share for A$2.6 million ($2 million; €1.7 million). ExxonMobil and Shell are also known investors in the site.

The investment was made through DIF’s Core Infrastructure Fund I, a vehicle launched last September targeting mid-sized assets in “underserved” areas of the market. The fund is believed to be expecting a close after the summer at or near its €450 million hard-cap. The Somerton Pipeline acquisition is the second deal agreed by the fund after it bought 55 percent of French broadband operator ADTIM in June.

The transaction is also DIF’s fourth investment in Australia after its maiden deal in January 2016. The Somerton Pipeline, however, is its first non-solar buy in the country.