Australian Rest snaps up wind farm stake from UBS

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Australian superannuation fund Rest taken full control of the largest wind farm in Western Australia after acquiring the outstanding 60% stake from UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets.

The Collgar Wind Farm is built on 18,000 hectares of land and is located near Merredin, about 250km east of Perth, REST announced in a statement. Financial details were not disclosed.

The wind farm has a total capacity of 206 Megawatts and can generate between 40 and 50% of the state’s renewable electricity on average, the A$50bn super fund said.

Collgar wind farm (image: Rest/UBS AM)

The asset, which holds a five-star GRESB rating, generates enough electricity to power up to 170,000 WA homes and displace as much as 690,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Rest, which previously owned a 40% share in the asset, has been involved with Collgar since construction began in 2010.

Rest’s internal investment manager Super Investment Management negotiated the acquisition with UBS REPM’s infrastructure business.

Super Investment Management CIO George Zielinski said infrastructure currently made up about six per cent of the asset allocation of Rest’s core strategy.

“Rest’s aim is to build out an infrastructure portfolio that is diversified across geographies and asset types,” he said.

“The portfolio also includes investments in other renewable energy projects, airports and transmission networks.”

The super fund is also part of the Macquarie Infrastructure Partners-led consortium that agreed to buy the Long Beach Container Terminal in the Port of Long Beach, California in April.

The asset is part of the largest container port complex in the US, with the deal expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

UBS AM REPM infrastructure business acquired its 60% stake in the Collgar asset on behalf of a global infrastructure equity strategy in 2010.

“We identified the potential for our first greenfield investment opportunity almost a decade ago,” said Tommaso Albanese, head of infrastructure at UBS AM.

“We continue to invest in similar such opportunities that offer our clients access to a wide spectrum of mid-market infrastructure investments across the globe.”