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IFM, QIC partner on A$500m renewables scheme with Origin Energy

The large-scale PPA programme aims to accelerate decarbonisation across the firms’ Australian critical infrastructure assets, including Melbourne Airport and Ausgrid.

IFM Investors and QIC have joined forces to purchase renewable energy for their Australian infrastructure assets through PPAs worth A$500 million ($365.9 million; €336.5 million).

The scheme, which aims to reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions across Australian critical infrastructure assets, is expected to facilitate the supply of more than 400GWh of renewable energy per year by 2025.

Delivered in three stages, the first stage of the programme will cover key assets owned by IFM and QIC, including Melbourne Airport and Ausgrid. The first stage will also include NSW Ports, Southern Cross Station, Nexus Hospitals, NorthWestern Roads Group’s WestLink M7 and Transurban’s CityLink.

The assets confirmed as part of the first stage of the programme are expected to procure a combined 132GWh of renewable energy a year from Origin Energy, one of Australia’s largest electricity generators and retailers.

In a statement, IFM’s global head of infrastructure Kyle Mangini said: “This landmark programme delivers lower energy prices to critical assets, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and will help IFM deliver positive returns to millions of working Australians through their superannuation funds.”

Speaking to Infrastructure Investor, QIC sustainability principal Andrew Sellick said collaboration between firms like IFM and QIC that might traditionally be considered competitors would be essential to tackling the effects of climate change and accelerating decarbonisation within the sector.

“We know that we have an opportunity to help, given the scale and breadth of our operations. We identified that, if we joined forces at that scale, when it came to electricity purchasing, we could give our assets opportunities they might otherwise have struggled to [access] on their own,” said Sellick.

“There are a number of businesses that [IFM and QIC] are joint shareholders in so there’s a logical approach for us to support those businesses, where we both benefit through helping those organisations succeed financially and reduce their climate-related risks.

“Collaboration is essential when it comes to dealing with significant issues such as climate change. We know no single company is going to solve these [issues] on their own and, in many ways, the more we collaborate, the more we join together, the better off financially, environmentally and socially we all are.”

Both firms are actively encouraging IFM and QIC portfolio companies that are not yet part of the scheme to join it and, moving forward, will also look to collaborate with other infrastructure businesses likely to bring scale and further benefit the firms’ portfolio companies.