Core Infrastructure

A long-term asset class capable of generating attractive, consistent returns.

Risk warning

The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and an investor may get back less than the amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future results.

Our approach

Putting sustainability centre stage

Infrastructure, such as transport, energy and digital networks plays a critical role in tackling sustainability challenges including climate change. We assess environmental and social risks and opportunities alongside all other material factors and seek out opportunities that support sustainability outcomes – recognising their investment potential as well as their importance for the planet.

Seeking out long-term, lower-risk returns

Infrastructure is uniquely placed to offer potential for reliable, repeatable long-term returns to investors in line with their objectives. By selectively investing in high-quality European infrastructure that’s already operational, we look to reduce risk and can generate returns on many assets right away.

Targeting opportunities in the European small-mid market

For us, Europe’s small to mid-sized infrastructure markets are the most compelling. With less competitive coverage than larger peers, they still offer a wealth of quality infrastructure assets providing essential services and – therefore – highly reliable cashflows.

Core Infrastructure Portfolio

Nordic Power

In June 2015, we acquired 100% of Nordic Power AS, a portfolio of 13 newly commissioned hydropower plants from Nordkraft, a Norwegian utility controlled by the Narvik Municipality. Post acquisition, we added an additional two plants to the portfolio, taking Nordic Power’s total projected annual output to 160 GWh.

In July 2021, we merged Nordic Power with a portfolio of small-scale hydropower and windpower assets owned by aventron AG, a Switzerland-headquartered renewable power producer. The merger created Norway’s third largest small-scale hydro operator with 41 hydropower plants and two wind farms.

The two portfolios are highly complementary with the merger providing geographical diversity, operational synergy potential and further de-risking of the business by enhancing the long term competitive position of the joint company.

 

Key attractions:

  • Attractive return and yield profile

  • Core, power generation asset

  • Proven technology, low operating risk and long asset lives

  • Exclusive option over pipeline of new plants.

 

Sector: energy

Subsector: hydro

Geography: Norway

Ownership: 33.5%

Rock Rail

Rock Rail Moorgate

 

Acquired February 2016. 25x6 carriage electric Siemens trains, serving Great Northern franchise Moorgate commuter lines, operated by Govia Thameslink Railway. Long term profile secured through lease arrangements with strong contractual obligations. No volume risk, no financing risk, inflation linkage and yield from day one.

 

Sector: transport

Location: UK

Ownership: 94%

 

 

Rock Rail East Anglia PLC

Acquired October 2016. 20x12 carriage electric Stadler trains, 24x4 and 14x3 carriage bi-mode Stadler trains serving the InterCity, Stansted Express and Regional lines of the East Anglia Franchise, operated by Abellio. Long term profile secured through lease arrangements with strong contractual obligations. No volume risk, no financing risk, inflation linkage and yield from day one.

 

Sector: transport
Location: UK
Ownership: 48%

 

 

Rock Rail South Western

Acquired June 2017. 30x5 carriage electric Bombardier trains, serving key London commuter services on the South Western franchise, operated by First MTR. Long term profile secured through lease arrangements with strong contractual obligations. No volume risk, no financing risk, inflation linkage and yield from day one.

 

Sector: transport
Location: UK
Ownership: 45%

 

 

Rock Rail West Coast

Acquired December 2019. 10x7 carriage electric Hitachi trains and13x5 carriage bi-mode Hitachi trains serving the West Coast Partnership Franchise, operated by First Trenitalia. Long term profile secured through lease arrangements with strong contractual obligations. No volume risk, no financing risk, inflation linkage and yield from day one.

 

Sector: transport
Location: UK
Ownership: 94%

Auris Kaasunjakelu Oy

In June 2015, we acquired 100% of Auris Kaasunjakelu, the largest natural gas distribution pipeline in Finland, from Gasum Oy, a Finnish state controlled company. The pipeline provides local gas distribution to Helsinki and 11 surrounding areas.

Key attractions:
  • Strong cash generation and yield
  • Core infrastructure asset with regulated return
  • Safe and stable operating and regulatory environment
  • Safe, stable operating environment
  • Recently upgraded asset base and low capex requirement
  • Growth opportunities through acquisition
  •  

    Sector: utilities

    Subsector: gas distribution

    Geography: Finland

    Ownership: 100%

    Noordgastransport

    Acquired SSeptember 2017 interest in NGT UJV, and May 2018 stake in NGT B.V.. The NGT system consists of a pipeline and processing system that transports and treats natural gas that is produced in the Dutch Continental Shelf, and consists of:
  • A 140km pipeline (“NGT Extension”) constructed in 1999
  • A 178km ‘legacy’ pipeline (“Legacy Pipeline”) constructed in 1975
  • An onshore gas processing plant (“Processing Plant”) at Uithuizen, the Netherlands
  •  

    Sector: energy

    Location: Netherlands

    Ownership: 18% / 20%

    Oikos

    Acquired May 2019. Owner and operator of a state-of-the-art liquid bulk storage terminal located on the River Thames Estuary offering c.300,000 m3 tank capacity and unique access to pipeline connections, deep-water jetty and road loading facilities. Oikos currently handles jet fuel and diesel, and is critical to supplying jet fuel to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports and diesel to the South East and Midlands of the UK.

     

    Sector: energy

    Location: UK

    Ownership: 100%

    Riihimäen Kaukolämpö Oy

    Acquired in February 2019. Riihimäen Kaukolämpö Oy is the owner and operator of the district heating network in the in the City of Riihimäki and the surrounding areas. Riihimäki is a rapidly expanding “commuter city” located within 100km of Helsinki and Tampere, two of the most economically vibrant regions in Finland. The length of the network is approximately 100km.

     

    Sector: energy

    Location: Finland

    Ownership: 49%

    Unitank

    Acquired May 2019. UNITANK is a market leading independent infrastructure and services provider storing liquid oil products on behalf of strategic storage agencies and Oil & Gas majors. The company owns and operates five terminals in Germany and one terminal in Belgium, all in key strategic locations.

     

    Sector: energy

    Location: Germany / Belgium

    Ownership: 50%

    Loimua Oy

    Acquired in July 2019. Loimua primarily owns and operates 760MW of heat production capacity and 17 district heating networks across Central and Southern Finland. The networks cover c.500km and c.4,600 supply points.

    Loimua produces district heating and electricity, and sells and distributes district heating and natural gas in Häme, Central Finland, Northern Ostrobothnia and Heinola.

     

    Sector: utilities

    Location: Finland

    Ownership: 37.5%

    Polish Solar

    Acquisition began Q3 2019. 351 MW of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic farms spread between seven operational (Aurora I, II & III, Helios I & II, Eos, Ra) or being developed projects by local developers. Construction of first farms completed in mid-2018 with balance coming online by Q1 2021. Revenue underpinned by 15-year guaranteed tariff under Poland’s newly introduced contract for difference regime.

     

    Sector: energy

    Location: Poland

    Ownership: 100%

    Airband

    Acquired in November 2020, Airband is a provider of rural connectivity services in the West of England, historically through Fixed Wireless Networks (“FWA”). Since 2018 the business has pivoted towards providing Fibre to the Premises (“FTTP”), driven by UK Government led initiatives including subsidies, to promote significant investment in fibre infrastructure for rural areas and is targeting c.500,000 homes passed by 2026.

     

    Sector: telecomms

    Location: UK

    Ownership: >50%

    Outokummun Energia Oy

    Acquired December 2020, Outokummun Energia Oy primarily owns and operates a regulated electricity distribution network and a district heating network in the City of Outokumpu, in Eastern Finland. The networks cover a combined length of 1,030km and the Company owns and operates 50MW of heat production.

     

    Sector: utilities

    Location: Finland

    Ownership: 66%

    Meet the team

    Dominic Helmsley

    Head of Core Infrastructure

    Dominic heads up the Core Infrastructure team at abrdn. He has over 20 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector combining extensive mergers and acquisitions experience with asset management expertise. Dominic spent 12 years with BAA plc where he headed their international acquisitions group and oversaw the acquisition and management of a number of overseas investments. Dominic then spent eight years in the fund management industry, initially with Babcock and Brown, as part of the European Infrastructure team that raised a €2.2bn infrastructure fund, and then as a Partner with Arcus Infrastructure Partners, which completed an MBO from Babcock and Brown in 2009.

    Meet the wider team

    Core Infrastructure

    We have a large and experienced team of infrastructure specialists.

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