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New York-based fund buys salt dome complex

SMITH COUNTY — Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II (MIP II), a North American infrastructure fund headquartered in New York, completed the acquisition of Leaf River Energy Center LLC from NGS Energy, LP.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Leaf River is an underground salt cavern facility located in Smith County. The Leaf River complex currently consists of two commercially operational caverns with a third cavern under development, and is permitted for four caverns and 32 billion cubic feet of total working gas capacity.

“We are excited to announce MIP II’s first acquisition in the midstream energy space,” said Christopher Leslie, CEO of MIP II. “The increase in supply from shale gas production and the projected growth in natural gas demand have created a significant need for midstream infrastructure build-out across the U.S. Salt cavern facilities in particular make for attractive investment opportunities given their ability to provide customers with high-performance gas storage as more power plants use natural gas.”

Leaf River is strategically located with access to Southeast and Northeast demand centers via direct interconnections with six interstate pipelines including the Transco, Destin, Tennessee, Midcontinent Express, Gulf South and Southern Natural pipelines. Leaf River is also closely situated to key supply areas such as the Haynesville and Bossier shales.

The MIP II manager is part of the Macquarie Group, which globally has invested in a number of midstream assets, including the Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, Pisto SAS and TanQuid.

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