CPE Media News (3/25/2020) – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Morrison & Co, on behalf of the Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA), have acquired The Infrastructure Fund’s (TIF) ownership stake in the Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP).
Following the transaction, Ontario Teachers’ ownership of SDP will increase to 60%, while UTA’s interest will increase to 40%.
The Sydney Desalination Plant is Sydney’s only non-rain dependent source of drinking water, supplying up to 15% of Sydney’s needs.
The project was funded by the NSW Government and was originally owned by Sydney Water Corporation (SWC). Construction of the desalination plant took 3 years from 2007-2010. A purpose-built wind farm was constructed to provide 100% renewable energy for the plant.
The first desalinated drinking water was delivered to Sydney in February 2010. The plant then ran continuously for 2 years, from 2010 to 2012, to prove plant capacity and reliability.
The NSW Government sold a 50-year lease on the plant in June 2012 backed by a 50-year water supply contract with SWC to a private consortium consisting of Ontario Teachers’, UTA and TIF at a cost of AUD $2.3 billion which includes the plant and the pipeline connecting the plant to the water supply network.
Ontario Teachers’ and Morrison & Co on behalf of UTA increase ownership stakes in the Sydney Desalination Plant
March 25, 2020
Sydney, Australia / Toronto, Canada – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (“Ontario Teachers’”) and Morrison & Co, on behalf of the Utilities Trust of Australia (“UTA”) are pleased to announce their acquisition of The Infrastructure Fund’s (“TIF”) ownership stake in the Sydney Desalination Plant (“SDP”). As a result of the transaction, Ontario Teachers’ ownership of SDP will increase to 60 per cent, while UTA’s interest – managed by Morrison & Co – will increase to 40 per cent.
Ontario Teachers’, UTA and TIF acquired SDP in 2012 through a 50-year lease from the Government of New South Wales. Powered by renewable energy, SDP can supply up to 250 million litres of drinking water per day, which is approximately 15 per cent of Sydney’s water needs.
Dale Burgess, Senior Managing Director, Infrastructure & Natural Resources of Ontario Teachers’, said: “SDP has been a great investment for Ontario Teachers’, and this incremental acquisition demonstrates our commitment as long-term, dedicated and constructive owners. Australia remains an important investment destination for us, particularly as we look to expand our portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years. We look forward to continuing to work side-by-side with Morrison & Co and SDP’s management team to ensure SDP fulfills its essential purpose of providing water supply security to the community it serves.”
Paul Newfield, Head of Australia & New Zealand for Morrison & Co, said: “At Morrison & Co, we aim to invest in businesses that serve our communities’ most vital long-term needs. SDP fits that bill. It’s a high-quality and well-managed core infrastructure asset that addresses the challenge of providing water supply security in a changing global climate. We are committed, long-term investors and look forward to working together with Ontario Teachers’ and SDP’s management team to ensure SDP continues to fulfill this critical role.”
Philip Narezzi, Chief Executive Officer of SDP, added: “We look forward to continuing to work with both Ontario Teachers’ and Morrison & Co in ensuring that SDP continues to be a world-class desalination facility that provides reliable and sustainable drinking water to Sydney residents whenever it is required.”
About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $201.4 billion in net assets at June 30, 2019. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.7% since the plan’s founding in 1990 (all figures as at December 31, 2018 unless noted). Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 327,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit www.otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.
About Morrison & Co
Morrison & Co was founded in 1988 and today manages multiple client mandates with total funds under management of A$15 billion as at 31 January 2020. It invests on behalf of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, family offices, endowments and other public and private pools of capital. In 1994, Morrison & Co launched Infratil, one of the world’s first listed infrastructure funds and has subsequently added a number of Australasian sovereign wealth and pension fund clients. In July 2018 Morrison & Co took over management of UTA and its portfolio of high-quality core infrastructure assets. Morrison & Co’s investment mandates are tailored to each client and variously cover private and listed markets, equity and debt, and asset-specific management relationships. For more information, visit https://hrlmorrison.com/
UTA is an open-ended core infrastructure fund for institutional investors with over A$6 billion in assets under management, including invested capital and undrawn commitments as at 30 June 2019. The fund has a globally diversified portfolio of quality, inflation-protected assets and a track record of generating strong returns with low volatility over time. Since inception in 1994, the fund has delivered a net return of 11.11% per annum across 25 years to 30 June 2019. The open-ended nature of the fund allows the UTA Trustee to take a long-term view and Morrison & Co to actively manage the assets to enhance value over time.
About Sydney Desalination Plant
The Sydney Desalination Plant is Sydney’s only non-rain dependent source of drinking water, supplying up to 15% of Sydney’s needs. The plant and pipeline were constructed by Sydney Water Corporation between 2007 and 2010 and first desalinated drinking water was delivered to Sydney customers in February 2010. The plant ran continuously for two years, from 2010 to 2012, before being placed into long-term water security mode when it was sold to a private consortium. The plant was restarted in January 2019 due to falling dam levels and has been successfully supplying drinking water to Sydney from March 2019 to the present time.
+1 416 730 6451
Morrison & Co
+64 4 550 5406
Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Limited
+61 419 239 552
Source: Private Capital Journal