Saturday, 12th June 2021

UBS Asset Management to finance data centre in re-purposed Norwegian olivine mine

UBS-AM’s Infrastructure Debt Platform (IDP) is the sole lender to Lefdal Mine DataCenter AS (LMD) in Norway, one of the most efficient and greenest data centers in Europe.

UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets' (REPM) infrastructure debt platform (IDP) has agreed to finance a unique data center facility, located in the re-purposed Lefdal olivine mine in Western Norway. The transaction will support the continued development of the data center facility within the mine.

LMD benefits from a number of particularly attractive features: (i) being powered by stable, green and low-cost hydroelectric energy; (ii) using cold water from a fjord for cooling which guarantees one of the highest efficiency ratings; and (iii) low construction costs and time to the market. It offers 120,000 m2 of space across three levels at a 30-50% lower construction cost-per-MW than the industry standard, as well as providing leading natural security due to the mine’s infrastructure. Norway’s access to renewable power, low energy cost, favorable climate and developed infrastructure, as well as positive government policy, mean the country is regarded as one as one of the most attractive European locations for the development of data centers.

The 5-year financing arrangement, totaling EUR 50m, will support the expansion of the data center beyond the existing 20MW capacity. IDP is the sole lender to the transaction.

LMD is owned by the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF), a mid-market infrastructure fund, and German Edge Cloud GmbH & CO KG, part of Friedhelm Loh Group, a German industrial conglomerate.

The transaction is the sixth investment of IDP in the digital infrastructure sector, and the first one in Norway. Since its launch in 2015, IDP has financed 29 infrastructure projects across 13 jurisdictions in Europe.

Alessandro Merlo, Head of Investment, Infrastructure Debt at UBS-AM REPM, commented:

“Data centers are an attractive investment opportunity, which have further proved their importance and vital role for businesses during the pandemic crisis. We’re pleased to be working with LMD to finance the unique development of this data center location. This transaction is the first investment for IDP in Norway and the third in the wider Nordic region – an important market for the platform. We are pleased to also support one of the greenest data centers in Europe with very limited environmental footprint and CO2 emissions, in line with our commitment to responsible investing in real assets.”

Jørn Skaane, CEO Lefdal Mine Datacenter, commented:

“Demand for data centre services is only growing, and clients are increasingly attracted to LMD’s unique green credentials. We welcome the completion of this facility with IDP which strengthens our ability to respond to client demand and invest in growth opportunities. We look forward to working with IDP over the coming years .”

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