PensionDanmark has signed an agreement with the Port of Esbjerg on a range of development projects relating to key green-energy transition infrastructure, envisaging investments of up to DKK7bn (€939m).

The DKK284bn labour-market pension fund said that with its location by the North Sea, the Port of Esbjerg had a central role in the expansion of offshore wind, where 134 gigawatts had to be established by 2030, and 300 gigawatts by 2050.

Torben Möger Pedersen, the pension fund’s chief executive officer, said: “We are ready to invest if the projects can be combined with a suitable return for our members’ pension savings, and with the planned projects there is an opportunity to invest in a timely manner and on a large scale.”

The cooperation agreed envisages up to DKK7bn in development projects at Esbjerg’s port, with DKK5.8bn of that expected to be used for the construction of facilities for the production of offshore wind turbines, which are expected to be ready in 2027, according to PensionDanmark.

Around DKK700m is being earmarked for terminals to handle power-to-x (PtX) and the capture and storage of CO₂ (CCS), which will be built around the Port of Esbjerg and in the North Sea, and are expected to be complete in 2028.

In addition to this, DKK500m is expected to be invested in the development of the port as a multi-modal hub, the pension fund said.

This will involve connections between sea transport, the road network and the railway at Esbjerg Harbour as well as the connection to air freight to and from Esbjerg Airport, it said, adding that those links are expected to be created by 2032.

The investment will also go towards the development of flex terminals, logistics properties and facilities for green fuels, according to PensionDanmark.

Möger Pedersen said PensionDanmark had “unique experience” from more than 15 years as an active investor in the green transition.

“We see good opportunities to contribute to the development of the port of Esbjerg as a natural hub for a future green energy adventure in the North Sea,” he said.

Back in 2021, Möger Pedersen told IPE he was particularly inspired by the promise of PtX technologies, whereby excess green electricity can be used to manufacture fuels for heavy transport and fertilisers for agriculture, with PensionDanmark having been involved in building a green-hydrogen factory in Esbjerg.

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