The €87bn pension fund for the Dutch metal industry, PMT, has invested in a coal-fired power station in Rotterdam through a fund managed by American private equity manager Riverstone Holdings.

According to the metal fund, this is a ‘very limited interest’ that dates back to the time when investments in coal were not yet ruled out, a PMT spokesman said.

The investment in the Riverstone fund dates back to 2015, he said, adding that PMT would no longer consider such an investment in coal-fired power stations appropriate.

The spokesman said it is generally not possible to exit prematurely from a private equity investment as investors commit to a period of up to 10 years – which is the case for the Riverstone investment.

Although PMT has not invested in private equity funds that invest in fossil fuels since 2016, Riverstone’s fund finances at least four coal-fired power stations, one of which is in Rotterdam.

Riverstone, which manages approximately $80bn (€67.1bn) in assets under management, is buying new coal-fired plants against the current trend. Many investors and energy companies do not want to get their “hands dirty” on coal because of the high CO2 emissions, the PMT spokesman said.

In recent years, PMT, like other pension funds, has also focused on the transition to renewable energy. For example, the metal fund no longer invests in listed companies active in thermal coal. It does invest, however, in oil and gas companies such as Shell and Total.

Fellow metal pension plan PME also invests in a Riverstone fund, but according to the scheme, the investment – initially made in 2008 –  has no interest in Onyx Power, the company under which the Rotterdam power station falls under.

To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.