Macquarie’s agri platform receives $79m from Australia’s Clean Energy Finance

The logo of Australia's biggest investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd adorns a desk in the reception area of their Sydney office headquarters in Australia, October 28, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

Australia’s state-backed Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed A$100 million ($79 million) to the agricultural platform of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), as part of its efforts to promote clean energy farming in the country.

In a statement posted on its website, the CEFC said the investment will contribute to sustainable on-farm asset management practices, with MIRA investing in farms across multiple climatic zones, production regions, and end markets.

MIRA will manage large-scale row cropping assets, such as wheat and other grains, and permanent crops including avocados, targeting improved on-farm energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

“Australian agriculture is globally recognised for its innovation and the high quality of our products. Through this investment, our goal is to see it also recognised as a leader in lowering on-farm emissions, through better technology and on-farm practices,” CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said.

The investment, Learmonth added, demonstrates the very broad potential of a clean energy focus to make a positive difference right across the Australian economy.

A key feature of the CEFC investment is the establishment of a specialist Energy, Emissions and Efficiency Advisory Committee (3EAC), drawing on the skills of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), MIRA, and CEFC.

3EAC will support new on-farm standards in energy efficiency and emissions reduction. It will also develop clean energy models targeted for broader use in the farming sector, CEFC said. Both MIRA and CEFC will work with CSIRO to develop an emission-reduction benchmarking system consistent with Science-Based Targets.

“This is an important investment into research and development that will see us adopting various energy efficient technologies on the properties to make environmental savings while maximising soil health and productivity,” said MIRA Head of Agriculture Elizabeth O’Leary.

MIRA said it will continue to invest in communities in which it operates by creating employment opportunities, both on and off-farm. As the farm portfolio grows, a number of farm management teams will be built across regional Australia with deep knowledge of local production environments, it added.

MIRA is one of the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager, with growing portfolios in real estate, agriculture, and energy. It manages approximately A$154 billion ($118 billion) of assets via approximately 50 public and private funds, co-investments, partnerships and separately managed accounts.

Also Read:

APAC Digest: South Korea eyes $47m agri fund; Australia’s HGL acquires Pegasus Healthcare

Macquarie Infrastructure makes first close of second Asia fund at $3b

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.