PGGM, asset manager for the €161bn healthcare pension fund PFZW, has taken a stake in a sea lock to be built at IJmuiden, entrance to the port of Amsterdam. 

It made the investment in the Noordersluis through its joint venture with construction company BAM.

The OpenIJ consortium – comprising the BAM PPP PGGM Infrastructure Co-operative, construction company VolkerWessels and infrastructure investor DIF – has been awarded the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the new lock for a 26-year period.

Construction is to start next year, and completion is scheduled for 2019.

Maurice Wilbrink, spokesman for PGGM, declined to specify the expected returns or scale of PGGM’s stake in the project, citing competition concerns.

Last February, the asset manager increased its commitment to the joint venture by €140m to €480m, raising its total committed assets to €600m.

The financing of new projects is done on an 80/20 basis across the two players, with PGGM taking the larger stake and BAM the smaller.

PGGM entered the joint venture in 2011 to generate stable and inflation-related long-term returns.

It also cited the ability to invest in infrastructure directly, and to increase its “grip” on its own portfolio and the criteria for socially responsible investment.

Wilbrink said the sea lock was the joint venture’s seventh infrastructure project in the Netherlands.

Previously, it participated in the renovation of the office of a former ministry, as well as the construction of a new office for the Hoge Raad, the Netherlands’ most senior legal college.

Since 2011, the BAM PPP PGGM Infrastructure Co-operative has invested in 25 projects, including schools and courthouses in Ireland, roads in Germany and Ireland, two rail projects in Belgium and a hospital in Germany.

Its participation varied from acquiring 50% of concessionary rights for management and maintenance of a German motorway to the design, construction, financing and maintenance of a secondary road in Ireland.