AIB and ISIF to sup­port €150m re­new­ables fund

Early-stage green en­ergy projects to be backed by State in­vestor and bank, writes Michael Cog­ley

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

AIB and the Ire­land Strate­gic In­vest­ment Fund (ISIF) have backed a new €150m in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle aimed at de­vel­op­ing re­new­able en­ergy projects.

The two state-owned en­ti­ties have in­vested in the Tem­po­ris Au­rora Lim­ited Part­ner­ship, along­side Ger­man re­new­ables spe­cial­ist En­cavis.

The fund aims to sup­port the pre-con­struc­tion of en­ergy projects that will de­liver more than 1,000MW in Ire­land over the next 12 years.

The early-stage en­ergy projects that will be tar­geted will go on to power re­new­able busi­nesses such as clean­tech com­pa­nies, data cen­tres, and wind farms. It will achieve this through en­gage­ment with de­vel­op­ers, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, green en­ergy buy­ers, and strate­gic part­ners.

AIB, ISIF, and En­cavis have all com­mit­ted to the first close of the fund. The State-con­trolled ISIF has also com­mit­ted to in­creas­ing its stake in the fund at sub­se­quent clos­ings. AIB’S in­vest­ment in the fund was not dis­closed, although it is un­der­stood to be in the dou­ble-digit mil­lions.

ISIF di­rec­tor Eu­gene O’cal­laghan said the fund has be­come a “sig­nif­i­cant in­vestor” in Ire­land’s tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon econ­omy.

“This is an in­no­va­tive ini­tia­tive seek­ing to es­tab­lish Ire­land’s first ded­i­cated re­new­able en­ergy de­vel­op­ment eq­uity part­ner­ship,” he said.

“We feel ISIF’S in­volve­ment will act as a sig­nif­i­cant cat­a­lyst to at­tract in­ter­na­tional pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment into Ire­land, in line with our ‘dou­ble bot­tom line’ man­date to gen­er­ate a com­mer­cial re­turn and sup­port eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and em­ploy­ment in Ire­land.”

ISIF is an €8.9bn sovereign wealth fund that in­vests for the ben­e­fit of Ire­land in a range of ar­eas. In Septem­ber, the fund pumped €50m into Ir­ish air­craft lessor Gen­e­sis Air­craft Ser­vices Lim­ited. It was also in­volved in the re­cent ac­qui­si­tion of Pep­per Money’s €200m loan port­fo­lio.

Colin Hunt, AIB’S cor­po­rate man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for in­sti­tu­tional and busi­ness bank­ing, said the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor was the main driver of in­fra­struc­ture growth glob­ally.

“We are de­lighted to be par­tic­i­pat­ing in this fund, sup­port­ing the re­new­ables sec­tor and help­ing Ire­land to meet its sus­tain­abil­ity and de-car­bon­i­sa­tion tar­gets,” he said.

“AIB con­tin­ues to fo­cus on pro­vid­ing cap­i­tal sup­port to sec­tors such as re­new­able en­ergy which are sup­port­ing Ir­ish eco­nomic growth.”

Tem­po­ris chief ex­ec­u­tive David Wat­son, whose com­pany is man­ag­ing the new green en­ergy fund, said the fund was an “im­por­tant mile­stone” for the Ir­ish en­ergy mar­ket.

“We are pleased to have taken the first step in cre­at­ing a strate­gic part­ner­ship that aligns high-qual­ity pa­tient cap­i­tal with our ex­per­tise in all stages of re­new­able en­ergy project de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

“We see the de­vel­op­ment cli­mate in Ire­land for re­new­ables as an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity over the long term.”

ISIF di­rec­tor Eu­gene O’cal­laghan says the fund’s in­volve­ment can act as an in­vest­ment cat­a­lyst

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