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Macquarie Group Confirms Plans for More Than £12 Billion of Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Across the UK That Includes Hydrogen

By March 31, 2022 5   min read  (849 words)

March 31, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Macquarie Group Confirms Plans for More Than £12 Billion of Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Across the UK That Includes Hydrogen

Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie) has today confirmed plans to support the delivery of more than £12 billion of investment in sustainable infrastructure across the United Kingdom.

Speaking ahead of a roundtable with Australian investors, hosted by the UK Prime Minister to mark the growing strength of the UK-Australia trade and investment relationship, Macquarie Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Shemara Wikramanayake, said:

“The UK was our first destination when we expanded internationally in 1989 and has remained a strong focus for our investment activity ever since. The UK has been a world leader in the positive utilisation of private capital to meet essential infrastructure needs of communities, including as a global leader in investment in the energy transition. We look forward to building on our track record of investment of capital and expertise to deliver the next generation of UK infrastructure.”

Macquarie will invest directly, mobilise co-investment, and support major investments through the capital expenditure programmes of portfolio companies to help meet the needs of communities for essential infrastructure that is smart, sustainable, and aligned with the UK’s net zero goals.

This builds on Macquarie’s longstanding commitment to the UK, in which it has been investing and operating since 1989. Over the past 15 years, Macquarie has invested and arranged more than £50 billion of investment into essential infrastructure across the UK.

Macquarie’s activity will support investment across the economy, including ten priority areas:

1. Advancing offshore wind

Developing and investing in UK offshore wind, including the development of up to 1.5 GW new generation capacity off the Lincolnshire coast and up to 2 GW of new capacity west of Orkney, off Scotland’s northern coast.

Macquarie has supported over half of the UK’s existing operational offshore wind capacity and the Green Investment Group (GIG) recently announced the launch of Corio Generation, a specialist offshore wind business with a 15 GW global development pipeline, headquartered in the UK.

2. Increasing solar generation capacity

Developing 3 GW of solar capacity across England and Wales through GIG portfolio company Cero Generation.

3. Increasing battery storage capacity

Developing a portfolio of new battery storage capacity across the UK, which includes sites in Scotland and South-East England. The portfolio will play a critical role in enabling more renewable energy capacity to connect to the UK’s electricity grid.

4. Exploring low carbon hydrogen opportunities

Working with investment partners to support the development of hydrogen-ready gas transmission and distribution networks to help decarbonise the UK’s energy system through Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network. GIG is also working to develop hydrogen hubs in Southampton and on Orkney to help reduce the emissions of energy intensive UK industries.

5. Accelerating the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Improving access to fast-charging electric vehicle infrastructure across the UK’s motorway network through the motorway service area operator Roadchef’s energy transition strategy. GIG have also partnered with Heliox to deliver electric bus and truck Charging-as-a-Service infrastructure across the UK.

6. Investing in carbon capture and storage

Investing in Storegga, the developer of the Acorn Project in northeast Scotland, to utilise the UK’s existing oil and gas infrastructure to receive and store CO2 captured from UK industrial activities and create complementary hydrogen production facilities.

7. Improving water and wastewater infrastructure

Collaborating with investment partners to support Southern Water, as it upgrades its network to support a growing population and deliver enhanced environmental outcomes in the face of climate change.

8. Boosting gigabit broadband

Supporting investment at KCOM to expand access to ultra-fast fibre broadband across the North of England and in rural communities through Voneus, a Macquarie backed business, giving rural English communities access to super-fast wireless broadband and ultra-fast fibre.

9. Improving transport infrastructure

Supporting Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton (AGS) airports, in collaboration with our investment partners, to invest to achieve net zero for their direct emissions by the mid-2030s. Developing new road transport infrastructure, designed to accommodate zero emission public transport.

10. Expanding rented housing stock

Building new homes through Goodstone Living, Macquarie’s new build-to-rent company which is targeting a +50 per cent lower carbon footprint than similar housing.

In addition to these investment plans, earlier in the week a consortium led by Macquarie Asset Management announced an agreement to acquire1 a stake in the UK’s national gas transmission system. The consortium is committed to ensuring the national gas transmission system remains secure, safe, and reliable while enabling the UK to accelerate its transition away from fossil fuels.

This investment supports the delivery of the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and Infrastructure Strategy – and covers all regions of the UK. Project investment is, in some cases, subject to final development consents and approvals.

As well as investing in sustainable infrastructure, Macquarie and Generation UK have launched a pioneering green jobs programme. The initiative is the first of its kind, offering profession-specific training to people facing barriers into employment to help them enter the green sector. The programme has been developed with guidance from experts across Macquarie, the Green Investment Group, and with catalytic funding from the Macquarie Group Foundation.

Subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

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