New Zealand’s NZ Super Fund is in talks to ”develop a broader strategic relationship” with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), the NZ$58bn (€35bn) sovereign wealth fund said as it announced committing up to NZ$208m to CIP’s energy transition fund.

NZ Super Fund has backed CI Energy Transition Fund I (CI ETF I), a fund seeking to raise €2.25bn to target renewable energy generation investment opportunities primarily in Western Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. In July this year, CIP announced an €800m first close for CI ETF I.

Delwyn Hart, NZ Super’s head of external investments and partnerships, told IPE Real Assets: “We really like the fund because it gives us exposure to transformative energy infrastructure projects.”

The focus of the fund is the development of industrial-scale sustainable energy infrastructure, known broadly as Power-to-X.

NZ Super currently had investments in renewable energy platforms both in the US and Europe, said Hart.

“But we have found it hard to achieve the scale we want from those investments. The US investment, in particular, has been very good from a returns perspective, but we would like to be able to deploy more capital as our fund grows.”

By investing with a manager like CIP, she added, it would allow the fund to invest both through its funds, and also as a co-investor in the future.

“We are having discussions with them to develop a broader strategic relationship which will give us access to co-investment opportunities. There are some opportunities in the pipeline which we would take a look at.”

NZ Super Fund CIO, Stephen Gilmore, said: “In addition to reducing the risk to our portfolio arising from climate change, we want to take advantage of opportunities in areas such as energy transition, renewable energy and decarbonisation infrastructure. Our investment with CIP is an outcome of this strategy.”

CIP Partner, Michael Hannibal, said: “NZ Super Fund has a strong reputation for its climate change investment approach. We look forward to working with it on supporting the energy transition across the globe.”

Currently, the fund has five greenfield projects located in Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Norway and Australia, and an advanced pipeline of seven further projects.

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