UK pledges £50m to Marguerite Fund

Already backed by five European countries, the EIB-managed fund has now pulled in financial support from the UK as it seeks to raise €1.5bn by 2011. The fund will back projects implementing EU policy in areas such as climate change and energy security.

The UK government has committed to invest £50 million (€56 million; $81 million) in Marguerite, the pan-European infrastructure fund managed by the European Investment Bank.

The fund, which is officially known as the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure, was launched on 4 December with €600 million in commitments from the European Investment Bank, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland. The fund is aiming to achieve a final closing on €1.5 billion in 2011.

The UK allocation is being made through Infrastructure UK, the new agency created to deliver and coordinate funding for the country’s most significant infrastructure projects.

The EU set up Marguerite to serve as a “catalyst” for implementing policy goals on climate change, energy security and Trans-European Networks. The EU has made it a goal for its member nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, raise their share of renewable energy consumption to 20 percent, and decrease overall energy use by 20 percent. “Trans-European Networks” are an attempt to foster greater transportation, energy and communication network connectivity across EU member states.

Marguerite will seek to further these goals by providing equity or “quasi equity” to companies which own or operate infrastructure across transport, energy and renewable energy sectors. The goal will be to provide them with capital for greenfield, or new construction projects, according to the statement. 

Fundraising is ongoing and a first closing is expected by 3 March, 2010. A final closing is scheduled for 2011.