PensionDanmark, the first Danish pension fund to invest in Europe’s gas supply network, has bought a 40% stake in Dutch gas pipeline system Noordgastransport (NGT) for DKK1.3bn (€174m).

The labour-market scheme, which manages more than DKK145bn, said it bought the equity stake from Abu Dhabi-based energy company TAQA.

NGT owns an offshore pipeline network carrying natural gas from fields in the North Sea for treatment in the Netherlands.

Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive of the fund, said: “This investment is attractive because it generates an attractive inflation-linked return with a very low correlation to the business cycle and PensionDanmark’s other investments in equity and fixed income.”

This is the whole idea behind this type of investment, he said.

PensionDanmark said it now had DKK9bn in direct infrastructure investments and expected to double this over the next four years, with most of the new investment being made in energy-related infrastructure.

The investment in NGT should be seen as complementing its existing investments in wind farms and biomass facilities, the fund said.

NGT consists of around 470 kilometres of offshore pipelines with a daily gas capacity of about 42m cubic metres.

The pipelines carry gas from the Dutch sector of the North Sea to a treatment terminal on the north coast of the Netherlands, where the fuel is then distributed through the Dutch gas network, PensionDanmark said.

France’s GDF Suez E&P operates the pipelines.

The overall NGT system comprises not only the pipelines but also two offshore platforms, as well as a treatment terminal.

NGT is also owned by GDF Suez with a 38.57% stake, XTO Energy with 10% and Rosewood Resources with 11.43%.

TAQA bought its stake in the pipeline system from Royal DSM in 2009.

Completion of the deal now depends on EU approval, as well as other factors, PensionDanmark said.

Ancala Partners advised PensionDanmark on the transaction.