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Irish reserve scheme confirms tunnel bid

IRELAND – The €13.3bn National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) has offered to buy the nearly completed Dublin Port tunnel – part of its public-private partnership strategy (clarifies).

The move comes as European pension schemes are eyeing infrastructure for its stable returns and lower risks.

“We are commercially keen to get involved in PPP’s, but there are not many opportunities in Ireland,” said the NPRF’s Adrian O’Donovan. They would assist the scheme's fixed income and private equity programmes.

The purchase of the Dublin Tunnel would provide consistent revenue from its toll facility. One source, wishing to remain anonymous, suggested the purchase could see the NPRF issue a bond and use it as a financial instrument.

IPE understands the fund has also offered to finance the construction of an Eastern ring road across Dublin Bay.

“We have made an approach on the issue to government,” he confirmed. “However, beyond that it is commercially sensitive.”

The NPRF – managed by the government’s asset and liability management arm, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) – has yet to receive a response from government. O’Donovan was not able to give a time frame.

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