These are great recognitions of the firm successes and milestones during the course of 2019.
Meridiam has been voted as winner in the following categories of the Infrastructure Investor Annual 2019 Awards:
Sustainable Investor of the year
This new category launched this year specifically underlines Meridiam new ESG commitments in 2019. Meridiam has put ESG at the heart of its investment process, operationally and concretely since inception in 2005. Last December the firm went a step farther and decided to change its status to become a benefit corporation within the meaning of the french law. This choice was driven by reasons of coherence and efficiency. It reinforces the alignment with our LPs via the commitment that we are making to them to deliver both financial dividends and non-financial impact in the way that our investment firm operates. But 2019 was also puntuated by several innovative deals. Among them, a contract with ENGIE valued at more than $1 billion USD to address the University of Iowa’s energy, water, and sustainability goals for two campuses spanning 1,700 acres in Iowa City, Iowa. These campuses together form one of the largest university footprints in the United States. The Project will concretely contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will allow the University to meet its energy transition objectives and be completely coal-free by 2025. But also a concession contract signed with EDF, Biokala and the Côte d’Ivoire Government for the design, funding, construction and operation of a 46-MW biomass power plant for 25 years. The plant located in Aboisso, 100 km to the east of Abidjan, will be the largest plant in West Africa fuelled with agricultural waste. It will generate enough electricity to supply 1.7 million people all year long and will enable the Côte d’Ivoire to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4.5 million tonnes throughout the duration of the concession contract.
Fund Manager of the year, Middle East and Africa
This award recognizes achievements in Africa and especially the closing of the reopening of the Africa Fund (MIAF) for a total amount of €546 million. Launched in 2015, for an initial amount of €207 million, the initial commitment has already been fully invested two years before the end of the investment period. At the end of this closing, it is now 2.5 times bigger than at the beginning. In Africa, the firm is currently developing and financing 15 projects, all together amounting to more than EUR 3 billion of capital expenditures. In 2019, the firm also signed agreements for solar projects in Senegal, a PPP in Gabon for a hydropower facility that will save more than 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year and as described earlier a concession contract for a biomass plant in Cote d’Ivoire.
Transport Investor of the year – Global and Europe
This award stands for the development in e-mobility and particularly the partnership signed with Casino to create the largest network of ultrafast charging infrastructure hubs in France for electric vehicles. This agreement is a technological first of its kind in France and is part of a global European project developed by Allego and Meridiam and supported by the European Union, the Metropolitan Greater Areas Electrified (Mega-E) project. By 2021, the ambition is to deploy more than 300 such ultra-fast charging sites throughout Europe.
This award is also a recognition of Meridiam acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the Northeast Anthony Henday (NEAH) concession, the ring road around Edmonton, Alberta’s capital city and Canada’s sixth largest city with a metropolitan population over one million in Canada. NEAH is a vital part of Alberta’s provincial road network. It diverts a portion of the traffic from the city center and allows some long-distance traffic to avoid downtown city of Edmonton. Thus, lowering congestion while improving air quality and mobility for Edmonton residents and suburban residents living in adjacent neighborhoods. It is also about Meridiam acquiring a 85% stake in Autopista del Sol, two independent motorway concessions Ausol I and Ausol II. Autopista del Sol represents the best option of transportation throughout the Costa del Sol from Malaga to Marbella and Guardiaro in the south. It offers a fast (25-40% time saving), reliable route with great advantage over other alternatives. It provides tangible and clear positive impact including ensuring cities such as Fuengirola and Marbella are bypassed (at no cost for drivers), reduction of congestion and transit flows while improving air quality and safety. These roads have taken benefit of new technologies to increase sustainability e.g. the substitution of lighting technology from sodium to LED lamps and electric vehicle charging in the future.