HSBC cashes in on cleantech infrastructure

Guernsey-headquartered HSBC Specialist Investments, the infrastructure and real estate arm of HSBC, has held its first closing of the HSBC Environment Infrastructure Fund on €117m.

The fund is over a fifth of the way towards its end goal of €500m.

With a primary regional focus on Europe, the fund invests in the development and construction of infrastructure in commercial technologies in renewable energy, water treatment and waste management. It will also invest in North America and OECD countries.

HSBC is targeting a gross IRR for investors in excess of 20%, but, recognising the current difficult fundraising environment, the Channel Islands’ infrastructure team is quick to state that no guarantee can be given that the fund will meet such a target.

The fund has already committed to a 49% stake in Partnerships for Renewables. The investment is the fund’s first enterprise and will involve a joint venture between the fund and Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the UK government to accelerate a move into a low carbon economy.

HSBC’s infrastructure team has completed over 50 infrastructure investments in the past 12 years, with total expenditure amounting to US$15bn.