2010 league tables: Focus switches to energy

Investment in energy infrastructure accelerated in the second half of last year, while transport investment slowed, according to full year data from InfrastructureInvestorAssets. Boosting the energy total was the huge Jubail Refinery project in Saudi Arabia.

In a remarkable turnaround, energy ended up by far the most popular sector for global infrastructure investment in 2010, with more than $78 billion worth of deals and a market share in excess of 40 percent. This was despite the fact that, at the halfway mark of 2010, the transport sector held a small lead. By year end, transport accounted for $41.5 billion of deals and just over 21 percent of the market.

The energy sector total was given a big boost by Saudi Arabia’s $14 billion Jubail Refinery project, which reached financial close in October and featured an $8.5 billion debt package backed by the likes of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Other large energy deals to conclude in the second half of the year included the $3.2 billion stage II phase of the ERC Oil Refinery in Egypt – a project to develop, finance, construct and operate a new, state-of-the-art upgrading refinery facility. Financial close in August included $2.35 billion in senior debt. KEXIM and JBIC were also involved in this financing, along with the African Development Bank.

The popularity of energy has been underlined by a spate of recent fundraisings targeting the sector. In January, the Carlyle Group announced it was launching a mezzanine fund targeting the energy sector. In the same month, Texas-based energy specialist EnCap swept past its $2.5 billion fundraising target on its way to a $3.5 billion hard cap. In Europe, BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners closed a €437 million fund targeting clean energy in December 2010.

Although transport had a quieter second half of 2010, some sizeable deals reached financial close. Among them were the €1.1 billion design, build, finance, operate and maintain project for a section of the A63 highway in France; and the $1.6 billion close of the Denver Transit Rail public-private partnership in the US.