A UK investment fund that claims to have ready access to as much as $20 billion in finance has set up a branch in Adelaide, to capitalise on the ambitious state and local government climate and renewables policies, including Adelaide’s target of becoming the world’s first zero carbon city.
The fund, called Redivivus in the UK and Redivivus Australia here, is described by its Australian managing director, Rick Carter, as being governed by 25 of the world’s top banks, and having a unique investment model that is “zero risk” for the lender.
According to the website, the fund specifically targets large-scale renewable energy and environmental projects – although coal-fired power plants are also on the list – ranging in funding size from $25 million to $100 million.
“Let’s say the South Australian government has the need currently to get solar thermal and storage, to gets those kinds of things up … we could easily deliver the funding for that – secured against some form of asset over the period of the next four years,” Carter told RenewEconomy in an interview on Thursday.
For pipeline projects at the development stage, he said the the fund could have the finance to “get it up and going” within a month to three months times.
“We believe we have the capability (to offer) as much money as anyone might need,” he said.
Carter, who is an Adelaide local and works in the “innovation space” as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, says Redivivus was drawn to the South Australian capital as a place where things were getting done, in terms of building out renewables.
“I’ve seen a lot of will and a lot of interest, but it’s all happening at a very low level and without very significant investment,” Carter told RE.
“This focus in Adelaide of getting to zero carbon as soon as possible leads to the assumption that in terms of regulations and legislation, the things that need to be done will be done.
“What I’m endeavouring to do with the South Australian government and Adelaide is to position it as the most attractive investment market of anywhere in world… to show that not only are they interested in attracting investment, but they are capable of making things happen quickly, which is the way things have to be.”
Carter said the UK-based fund had an increasing interest in investing in renewable energy projects because they were seen to “tick a lot of boxes”.
“They’re things that have a very long term return, as opposed to some of the more traditional forms of investment that have become a bit risky,” he said. “Solar and wind are not going away.”
Carter said they had a a number of major renewables projects underway in parts of Asia and Africa, and at least “five serious opportunities at the nondisclosure stage.”
An emailed statement from Redivivus London-based CEO Tony Davidson said the company had “a number of projects in Asia and Africa with full government and treasury level support for projects that include state infrastructure (Highways), over 150,000 homes in 3 countries.
Davidson said they were also building a new hospital, water treatment plants, a power station and waste to energy facilities. “The present total for projects working with our financial solution at the present time stands at $11Billion under sovereign Guarantees and treasury bonds,” he said.
In South Australia, Carter said, the fund was in talks with government organisations at both a local and state level and “a couple of large engineering organisations” that had projects approved and ready to go, and were in need of $4-5 million to get going.