Why these webinars?
Together with representatives from B Capital Partners and Swiss Re, the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC), the Central Dredging Association (CEDA) and Vital Ports explored what is needed in order to improve the connection between green-labelled funds and sustainable waterborne infrastructure projects. Against the backdrop of climate change, energy transition and loss of biodiversity, together with the fact that there are limited public budgets, means there is a bigger role available for finding sustainable funding for projects. As a result, the report “Financing Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure; A joint study to explore financing of green coastal, river and port projects” was published. A free copy of the report can be downloaded here:
One main conclusion in the report is that sustainable waterborne infrastructure solutions are available, have been tested and are economically viable. Private capital could help to accelerate the uptake of such solutions. The report is an important first step towards realising this. The dredging industry and financial sector are mutually unfamiliar with each other’s environment and both sectors want to expand their green initiatives. So synergy can be found in cooperation. These webinars are one of the activities of IADC, with the aim to increase awareness of the importance of sustainable dredging projects and the development of a finance framework to realise these projects.
From the report, six key lessons were drawn in the joint study by technical and financial institutes. Applying these lessons will pave the way forward to accelerate the uptake of green solutions. In each webinar, three key lessons will be discussed by representatives of the dredging sector, Vital Ports, Swiss Re and B Capital Partners. They will explore, identify and clarify the role of private finance in sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure. The purpose of this is twofold: to raise awareness of sustainable dredging solutions within the financial community, and to start building a bridge between the worlds of sustainable dredging and private finance.
A paper, written by Arjan Hijdra from Vital Ports, which describes all the key lessons can be downloaded here.
Webinar 1: SUSTAINABLE FINANCE FOR MARINE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
The following key lessons will be discussed:
- Joint screening by sponsors and private capital suppliers is strongly encouraged to improve the availability of private capital for this segment.
- Certification of green projects is instrumental and needed in line with Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and EU Taxonomy.
- Green solutions need policy incentives, favouring projects with green features. This will increase their uptake and allow the rerouting, or unlocking, of funds to support them.
Dr. Arjan Hijdra is a pracademic at heart and worked his entire career at developing water related infrastructure. His key expertise is maximising societal value and translating this to sound and sustainable investment planning. Arjan's background enables him to link engineering-, financial and governance perspectives. He holds a PhD degree in infrastructure planning from the University of Groningen and an M.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He started his professional career in 1995 in international port consultancy and in 1999 joined the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Arjan served as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and at the Institute of Water Resources of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Washington. Since 2017, Arjan leads the Vital Ports initiative, an NGO with the aim to disseminate evidence-based guidance for sustainable port development.
Since graduating from TU Delft in the Netherlands with an MSc, Reinout Viersma has worked in coastal protection, land reclamation, ports and waterway and marine construction. He has worked for Van Oord and predecessors for 25 years in various roles in the execution of dredging and marine construction works, including commercial roles on branch offices around the world and as a tender manager at Van Oord’s head office working on large complex projects. Reinout currently works as Programme Manager Climate Adaptation, tasked with developing coastal protection to mitigate climate change.
Webinar 2: SUSTAINABLE FINANCE FOR MARINE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
The following key lessons will be discussed:
- Standard legal frameworks need to be developed to allow private capital to enter the sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure market.
- Reporting tools and harmonised methodologies must be built to capture the associated Environmental, Social and Governance ( ESG) benefits which are often overlooked, particularly in relation to future savings, as these are difficult to quantify.
- The insurance industry as a "de-risker" can be transformational in establishing a longer-term investment framework.
Christian Wertli was appointed Head Infrastructure Solutions as of 1 August 2020, as part of Swiss Re Public Sector Solutions. In his role, Christian works with financial sponsors, including governments, NGOs, multilaterals, investors and financiers, contractors and intermediaries to ensure the resilience of their infrastructure projects. Prior to this, he was Global Head Innovative Risk Solutions at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions responsible for new product development, structuring and underwriting of bespoke risk and capital management solutions.
Before joining Swiss Re in 1997, he worked for Credit Suisse in corporate finance and with Reinsurance Finance Consultants, a joint-venture between Swiss Re, Credit Suisse and Winterthur Reinsurance, in their financial engineering unit. Christian has lived and worked in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and Zurich. He holds an MBA from the University of Zurich, and a CPCU from the Insurance Institute of America.
Paolo E. Alemanni
Paolo Alemanni has over 30 years of international professional experience in private equity investments and asset management in the infrastructure, energy and transportation segments. In addition to a significant track record as a principal investor as well as advisor for managed accounts and infrastructure funds. Paolo has top management experience in the restructuring of special situations and in the freight logistics and maritime terminal industries.
He currently holds the position of Managing partner and co-shareholder at B Capital Partners AG, Zurich. B Capital Partners is an investment house focused exclusively on the infrastructure asset class (including PPP and energy transition investments).
Selected past positions:
- Babcock & Brown, Milan: Marketer, European private equity infrastructure division.
- Terminal Rinfuse Italia, Venice (operator of dry bulk terminals): Chairman of the Board of Directors/CEO.
- Crossrail AG, Wiler b.U. (Switzerland): Managing Director and CFO.
- McKinsey & Co., Italy: Engagement Manager.
- A.T. Kearney Management Consultants, Düsseldorf and Milan: Project Manager
- Warth & Klein GmbH, Düsseldorf (Germany): Auditing Assistant.
The content discussed in the webinars will be explored further during the conference Financing Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure on 9 February 2023 in Dubai. More information can be found here.