IFM Investors and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) have established a renewable energy venture to help reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions at key Australian airports, ports, energy utilities, roads and hospitals.

The venture, known as Renewable Energy Programme, has partnered with toll road owner Transurban to negotiate a A$500m (€343.5m) power-purchasing agreement with Australian electricity firm Origin Energy.

The programme will be delivered in three stages, and it is estimated that the project will facilitate supply of more than 400GWh of renewable energy annually by 2025.

Ross Israel, QIC head of global infrastructure, said: “This programme is part of the decarbonisation efforts which underpin our commitment to deliver a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2040 across our managed infrastructure funds.”

Kyle Mangini, IFM Investors global head of infrastructure, told IPE Real Assets that IFM Investors had previously deployed a similar strategy in other parts of its business.

“We have used our buying power to buy insurance to drive savings. In the renewable energy space, it is easier to do this in Australia because we are dealing with a single electricity market,” he said.

It would take “a matter of months” to roll out the three stages.

Asked if the programme would cover all IFM and QIC assets in Australia, he said perhaps not, but that efforts would be made to make it attractive to be part of the energy programme. Ultimately, the decision would be left to each asset manager.

Mangini said the programme offered a compelling policy from a decarbonisation perspective and would offer energy cost savings estimated at 15% for participants.

Of the rationale for the project, he said: “Last year we became the first infrastructure fund manager to set an interim 2030 target to reduce emissions across our portfolio by 40%.

“Now we are taking action, which will see 250,000 tonnes of emissions cut from Australian infrastructure assets annually by 2025 – putting us on track to meet and potentially exceed our net zero commitments.”

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