PensionDanmark, PKA and Lægernes Pension have launched an African infrastructure fund with a newly created company, AP Møller Capital.

The Danish pension funds have committed US$550m (€468m) and hope to increase this to US$1bn by bringing in other Danish and international investors.

Africa Infrastructure Fund I is intended to run for 10 years, during which time it will make 10 to 15 investments, with a particular focus on transport and energy.

Peter Damgard Jensen, chief executive of PKA, said: “With this new fund we will make infrastructure investments in Africa and have the opportunity to ensure a good return for our members while making a positive difference in line with the UN’s sustainability goals.”

The fund is managed by AP Møller Capital, recently established by AP Møller Holding, the controlling shareholder of Danish transport and transport conglomerate Mærsk.

AP Møller Capital is led by partners Kim Fejfer, Lars Reno Jakobsen, Jens Thomassen and Joe Nicklaus Nielsen, three of whom are from Mærsk.

The private equity firm was set up to form businesses that create value and benefit society, said Robert Mærsk Uggla, AP Møller Holding’s chief executive.

“Africa, which has a hard-working population expected to reach a billion within the next few decades, has a pressing need for more investment in infrastructure,” he said.

Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive of PensionDanmark, said: “We see this as a unique opportunity to invest in a region with high economic growth and attractive investment opportunities alongside a partner – AP Møller Capital – that has extensive investment experience combined with a strong network and a promising pipeline of potential investment projects.”

PensionDanmark said it already has investments in Africa in the form of farmland, sustainable farming projects and renewable energy projects, including Lake Turkana Wind in Kenya.

PKA, meanwhile, said it has a strong focus on investments that can slow the effects of climate change and has invested in Africa’s largest wind farm, located in Kenya.