The CEFC has committed up to $21 million to unlock and commercialize innovative technology solutions that will help mining operations decarbonize and reposition the sector to capture the benefits of the future low emissions economy. The CEFC investment into the private equity fund RCF Jolimont Mining Innovation Fund II (“the Fund”), will back Australian companies working to develop the innovative solutions needed to reduce emissions in the hard to abate mining sector.
The Fund targets early to late-stage private mining equipment, technology, and services (METS) companies in Australia and internationally with strong growth potential. The CEFC commitment will be directed towards clean energy businesses developing industry specific software and technology developments to improve energy efficiency, develop mine-specific renewable energy storage solutions and increase electrification of mine site vehicles.
In a landmark $75 million commitment in the pastoral sector, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is targeting cuts to on-farm methane emissions, together with Paraway Pastoral Company (Paraway), one of Australia’s largest pastoral operators. The CEFC commitment, through an agricultural fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management, will see Paraway aim to reduce its methane intensity by at least 30 percent by 2030, aligned with the principles of the Global Methane Pledge.
Operating 28 pastoral and cropping farms over more than 4.5 million hectares across Australia, Paraway has capacity to run more than 220,000 cattle and 250,000 sheep, as well as a mixture of dryland and irrigated cropping.
As part of the commitment, Paraway will trial and showcase new technologies and practices to cut emissions, including altered herd management and genetics selection, changes to feed additive and farm practices, vegetation management and enhanced emissions measurement. Progress will be shared with other producers to encourage further emissions reduction in the vital agriculture sector.
A landmark CEFC investment to support the Southern Downs Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) will help develop critical transmission and grid infrastructure to connect multiple clean energy assets in Queensland to the National Electricity Market.
In its first investment to support the development of a REZ, the $160 million CEFC financing commitment will unlock an additional 500 MW of new network hosting capacity, adding to the proposed 1000MW of renewable plant capacity to support the MacIntyre Wind Precinct. The precinct includes the 103MW Karara Wind Farm, and the 923 MW MacIntyre Wind Farm, and is set to be one of the world’s largest onshore wind farms.
By stepping in with concessional finance, the CEFC has provided a scale efficient solution to unlock greater renewable generation capacity in the Southern Downs REZ. This cost effective solution has ensured a scale efficient build out shared across future generation capacity.
The CEFC is investing up to $200 million alongside ANZ Bank as part of a new program to provide discounted clean energy finance to ANZ business customers. The discounted finance is designed to encourage small to medium sized (SME) businesses to invest in a broad range of activities to cut their emissions – from renewable energy to energy efficient and precision agricultural equipment, recycling technologies, and electric vehicles. The CEFC and the ANZ will each contribute 0.25 percent toward a 0.5 percent discount on loans of up to $5 million. The finance extends the well-established CEFC co-financing programs, which have seen financial institutions provide more than 5,500 asset loans to business borrowers Australia-wide.
The CEFC has made a $75 million cornerstone commitment to Octopus Investments Australia’s first renewable energy platform for the development of utility scale solar and storage. The investment comes alongside a commitment made by leading Australian superannuation fund, Hostplus, further crowding in institutional capital to the Australian energy sector and supplying the growing appetite from superannuation members for more products with sustainable and renewable assets. The CEFC investment marks the entry of a major global fund manager into the Australian market, enhancing Australia’s position as a global financial hub and helping to drive the transition towards net zero emissions.
The CEFC has ramped up investment in companies that are fast-tracking the decarbonization of the economy, with a $50 million cornerstone investment in the Ellerston 2050 Fund alongside a $50 million commitment from Qantas Super to support the work of Australia’s carbon abatement “enablers.”
These “enablers” are companies that are providing the technology and services that their customers use to reduce their carbon footprints. They represent a new area of economic growth and business development, able to capitalize on the growing wave of investment into emissions reduction.
The open-ended, wholesale Fund will be managed by Ellerston Capital and will focus on investing in listed and unlisted small to mid-sized companies which actively help reduce carbon emissions in the wider economy. These include companies with low carbon products, technology, and services that enable energy efficiency or facilitate the accelerated adoption of low emissions technologies.
An Australian advanced manufacturing company bringing an innovative solution to aviation emissions – modeled on shark skin – has received a $2 million investment boost from the CEFC, alongside strategic investors, including venture capitalists Bill Tai and Amanda Terry of ACTAI Ventures. MicroTau has created a lightweight film product that can be applied to the surface of aircraft, reducing drag, improving fuel efficiency, and cutting emissions. The film, which can be applied during scheduled aircraft maintenance, has the potential to save commercial aviation and shipping more than US$34 billion in fuel costs, delivering as much as 225 million tonnes in CO2 abatement annually.
The CEFC is committing to up $7.5 million to Australian e-waste recycler Scipher Technologies to help tackle the nation’s mounting e-waste problem and reduce the associated emissions. The CEFC investment in the Scipher Series B funding round, made through the Australian Recycling Investment Fund, is being matched by a $7.5 million investment from the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF), delivering a substantial $15 million boost to Australia’s recycling capabilities.
E-waste includes valuable commodities which can be recovered and recycled through ‘urban mining’, preventing them from being sent to landfill. These commodities include steel and iron (ferrous metals); copper, aluminum, and zinc (non-ferrous metals), and gold, silver, and palladium (precious metals).
The CEFC investment, on behalf of the Australian Government, will enable Scipher to increase its e-waste processing capacity by investing in new and upgraded recycling infrastructure. Scipher is also planning to extend its recycling capacity to include mobile phones, lighting equipment, large household appliances, and solar panels.
Manildra, Australia’s largest wheat processor and ethanol manufacturer, is taking a significant step toward reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, drawing on an $85 million CEFC investment to exit coal at its primary manufacturing plant in regional NSW.
The project will help kickstart the transition of the domestic industrial sector to a low carbon future, decarbonizing operations while maintaining global competitiveness. The installation of cogeneration technology will reduce emissions at the energy intensive Nowra plant by about 40 percent, abating an estimated 332,000 tonnes of CO2-e annually. Manildra will no longer use coal to generate steam at the plant.
The CEFC has committed $1.1 million to Samsara Eco through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. Samsara Eco has also attracted investment from CSIRO’s Main Sequence, and W23, the Woolworths venture capital and innovation fund, to complete a $6 million capital raising. Samsara has synthesized a novel enzyme to be dramatically more effective, compressing a process that would naturally take millennia. After being broken down into its original components, the resulting product can be sold in a pelletized form to customers.
Working in partnership with the Australian National University, Samsara’s proprietary technology involves a depolymerization process that uses modified enzymes to rapidly degrade plastic down to small molecules. This ensures recycled plastics materials have the same structural integrity as virgin plastics.
The CEFC has committed $5 million to the Blind Creek project, a farmer-led project that combines an understanding of the land, farming practices, and knowledge of the local community with renewable energy expertise. The CEFC investment is part of a joint venture between the CEFC and Octopus Australia to develop and deliver a utility-scale agri-solar and battery project in regional Australia.
The project was founded by local farmers with a multi-generational connection to the site and to the local community, together with a team of renewable energy experts, including technical support from Stride Renewables and Axcentium. The characteristics of the project reflect their vision to co-locate regenerative agriculture with solar, engage in genuine community consultation, and include the community in the project’s financial benefits.
The CEFC is backing the development of the proposed 44 MWac Perry Bridge and 80 MWac Fulham solar farms, in a landmark joint venture with Octopus Investments. Octopus Australia and the CEFC have purchased the rights to develop the two projects from local Gippsland based developer Solis Re, and the three parties will be working closely together to bring the projects to financial close. The CEFC commitment to these development stage assets is $850,000. The solar farms are aiming to showcase the ability of sheep grazing and solar farming to co-exist, providing a diversified revenue stream to local landholders.
The $1.6 million CEFC investment will enable UK-based Downforce Technologies Limited to take the next step in developing and commercializing its data-based technology, with Australia identified as the first market, reflecting the uniquely favorable potential of Australian soils to play a role in soil carbon capture. Downforce Technologies has developed an innovative technology solution to cut the cost of measuring and monitoring soil health and carbon levels – a key component in cutting land-based emissions.
This investment aims to further extend the benefits of monitoring soil carbon. Enhanced monitoring can improve soil carbon levels, leading to environmental and economic benefits such as improved agricultural productivity, soil resilience, reduced emissions, and an additional revenue stream for farmers.
The CEFC has committed $80 million to the IFM Investors Private Equity Growth Partners Fund alongside the legalsuper and HESTA superannuation funds. IFM has an established track record of helping drive down emissions within its private equity portfolio companies and has achieved carbon neutral certification from Climate Active, the Australian Government certification standard.
Established by industry super owned IFM Investors and managed by the IFM Investors private equity team, the new fund aims to invest in companies with high growth potential, resilient and profitable business models and strong management. The companies, predominantly focused in the Australian technology, business services and healthcare sectors, will be chosen based on their potential to drive a material reduction in emissions. Importantly, this will include innovative companies with the potential to capitalise on the transition to net zero emissions by bringing new technologies and business models to market.
The CEFC has committed up to $37 million in debt finance to Blue Grass Solar Farm, as part of a syndicate of lenders which also includes ING and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. It will feature 375,000 bifacial solar panels, which have an increased generation capacity compared with existing panels, as well as half-cut cells technology which reduces the cell to half the normal size. Blue Grass Solar Farm is expected to cut emissions by approximately 320,000 tonnes CO2-e per year.
The investment will also support Solar 30 30 30, an ARENA-led initiative that will help achieve ultra low-cost solar. The initiative aims for solar PV to achieve 30 per cent efficiency at 30 cents per installed watt by 2030 and will help drive down costs to meet the goal of solar electricity generation at $15 per MWh.
The CEFC is providing a $30 million senior secured debt facility to finance energy performance improvements at Brisbane’s 200 Creek Street commercial office building. The building will undergo equipment and building services upgrades, including a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy conservation technologies and practices. The work will lift the building to a NABERS 5.5 star rating, a performance achieved by just six percent of commercial office buildings Australia-wide.
The CEFC is investing $72 million into a $1 billion capital raising by the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund (QGIF) as part of its plans to accelerate its trajectory to net zero emissions. QGIF will lift its emissions reduction ambitions across its portfolio, with the capital raising supporting investment in bolt-on emissions reduction opportunities at existing assets, as well as the acquisition of new assets, including those with a focus on reducing carbon emissions.
As a part of its work towards integrating ESG across its investment process, QIC has committed to halve its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 for QGIF (on a 2020 baseline) and is targeting net zero scope 1 and 2 emissions for the Fund by 2040. QIC has also committed to actively contribute to the broader industry net zero emissions ambitions for QGIF assets.
The CEFC investment, on behalf of the Australian Government, brings total investment in QGIF to almost $3.4 billion. The scale and diversity of the QGIF portfolio allows it to benefit from the deployment of a broad range of clean energy technologies across its 11 core and core-plus infrastructure assets.
The $25 million CEFC commitment will enable manufacturer Orica to upgrade processing plants used in the production of ammonium nitrate with technology designed to abate nitrous oxide emissions. Tertiary nitrous oxide abatement technology will be installed in three nitric acid plants at Orica’s Kooragang Island facility in New South Wales from 2022 – the first time the technology has been used in Australia. The technology is highlighted in the Australian Government Technology Investment Roadmap.
Working with a leading manufacturer such as Orica enables the CEFC to help spearhead emissions reduction measures across a sector that has proven difficult to abate. This investment will also provide valuable insights into how sustainability can complement profitability. The project is commercially underpinned by carbon credit contracts with the Australian Government, further catalyzing investment in sustainability outcomes.
The CEFC has committed up to $12.5 million to Ark Energy Corporation to finance the production of green hydrogen at the Townsville SunHQ H2 hydrogen hub through the Advancing Hydrogen Fund. The investment will support the construction of hydrogen production and refueling infrastructure for the Sun Metals zinc refinery, with green hydrogen produced from an electrolyzer powered by the Sun Metals solar farm. It will also finance five purpose-built, zero emissions ultra-heavy duty Hyzon hydrogen trucks.
The hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks will deliver zinc ore from Townsville Port in Queensland to the Sun Metals Refinery, where they will refuel with green hydrogen produced on site, before taking zinc ingots back to the port in a 30 km clean energy round trip. The investment will help deliver a more sustainable zinc supply chain.
The CEFC is helping finance Australia’s first electrified bus fleet, with a $24.5 million commitment that will see the replacement of 40 internal combustion engine buses in NSW with clean, green vehicles.
The commitment is part of a $36 million landmark project to install a suite of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure at a single site, combining charging equipment, battery storage, renewable energy and grid support services. It will establish the Leichhardt bus depot in Sydney as Australia’s first fully integrated EV bus depot.
The 40 new electric buses will be supported by 368 kWh and 422 kWh battery packs, fast charging infrastructure, 2.5 MW/4.9 MWh of stationary battery energy storage and 388 kWp of rooftop solar. Innovative software, including onboard telematics that provides critical vehicle data, will help manage the chargers, batteries, solar and grid input.
The CEFC has made a $50 million cornerstone commitment to the Transforming Farming Platform alongside an initial $50 million from the global Kempen SDG Farmland Fund. The science-led sustainable farming initiative is managed by Gunn Agri Partners, an Australian-based specialist agricultural asset manager with a portfolio of $300 million. The Platform will span mixed farming assets across the main cropping areas of Australia and will focus capital investment in underperforming small to medium farms to help lift productivity and optimize land use.
Using expert advice from a team of leading agronomic and environmental advisers, including the CSIRO, the Platform adopts data-driven practices to make the farms more productive and resilient in a changing climate.
This includes integrating regenerative farming methods and improved land management techniques to optimize yield productivity, reduce carbon emissions and sequester carbon. Incorporating data from the CSIRO, including their Yieldgap research, the platform will look at cropping systems, weather and soil data, and crop variabilities to optimize production.
The CEFC has invested $5 million in 3ME Technology, an Australian heavy vehicle battery manufacturer designing and producing energy-dense, lithium-ion battery systems to power mining electric vehicles and equipment. The CEFC investment in the Newcastle-based company is part of a $20 million capital raise by 3ME, which also attracted $15 million from the Australian Business Growth Fund.
The investment in 3ME Technology will enable miners to replace diesel engines with cutting-edge battery electric systems, reducing their emissions and supporting safer, more efficient mine operations. 3ME Technology’s innovative Bladevolt battery technology allows remote performance monitoring and control of battery pack cells, and is modular and powerful enough to transform a 20-tonne loader into a fully electric-powered vehicle.
In Australia’s emerging green bond market, Artesian’s Green and Sustainable Bond Fund is one of the few dedicated green bonds with an Australian focus. Backed by a $25 million investment from the CEFC alongside cornerstone investor Future Super, the open-ended Fund is actively managed by Artesian’s fixed-income team and provides investors with diversified exposure to a hard-to-access asset class.
Investing in highly liquid investment-grade green and sustainable corporate bonds issued by Australian and international issuers, as well as cash, the fund aims to outperform the Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0-5 Year Index benchmark.
The CEFC has invested $20 million into Xpansiv to strengthen the Australian ESG commodities market and accelerate the further development of investment opportunities supporting Australia’s net zero emissions transition. The CEFC commitment is part of a US$100 million capital raise. The Xpansiv centralized platform allows buyers and sellers to trade ESG-inclusive commodities to help meet their carbon emissions targets. The platform provides more than 1,000 major Australian and global corporates with access to some $10 billion in registered assets, including carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates and differentiated fuels.
The CEFC committed $54 million in debt finance to the Northcote Place project as part of its goal to lift sustainability outcomes across the commercial, residential and infrastructure sectors. Melbourne’s Northcote Place project developed by Metro features sustainable townhouses that will help reduce homeowners’ individual carbon footprints.
This new 8 star housing development featuring the latest clean energy technologies – including low carbon concrete – is leading the way in showing how green design can help home buyers embrace the benefits of energy efficient living. The homes include a range of features, such as all-electric induction cooking, heat pump hot water, rooftop solar systems with the option to add battery storage, wiring to be electric-vehicle ready, and rainwater tanks connected to both toilets and laundries.