Merseyside Pension Fund has committed to a new co-investment vehicle created by French asset manager Mirova to own a share of a Portuguese hydroelectric portfolio.
Portuguese electric utility firm EDP announced in December that it sold the portfolio, located in the Douro valley with 1.7GW capacity, to a consortium of Credit Agricole Assurances, French operator Engie and Mirova, in a €2.2 billion deal.
Merseyside Pension Fund is a long-standing investor in infrastructure and has deployed over £250 million into the renewables sector.
Peter Wallach, the fund’s director of pensions said that the co-investment should generate good returns for its members in a cost-effective way.
“The pumped storage facilities within the portfolio will also play a critical role in advancing the region’s decarbonisation of power generation,” he said.
Wallach confirmed that the fund was becoming more interested in direct investments in infrastructure, through co-investments and through its involvement in the GLIL Infrastructure partnership of six UK local authority pension funds.
“We’re not investing blindly, and because we have an established portfolio of assets it means we can more easily target investments that complement the assets that we have,” he said. “Also of great interest to us is the lower fee load. If we invest directly then we’re paying considerably less in fees than we would be if we were investing in funds.”