AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience

CDPQ invests $32m in Melbourne's Biosciences Research Centre

Published 13 March 2013

March 13, 2013 – Plenary Group today announced that the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has invested AU$32 million in Melbourne’s Centre for AgriBioscience (AgriBio).

Plenary Group’s Managing Director, Mr. Paul Oppenheim said, "This recent investment by the Caisse brings their total investment in Plenary Group projects to over AU$200 million. It underlines the quality of our portfolio and our asset management capability. The Caisse partnership is the cornerstone of an equity platform that allows Plenary to play a critical role in Australia’s major infrastructure projects."

"This investment in a social-infrastructure project enables us to increase our presence in Australia, a market presenting great business opportunities," said Macky Tall, Senior Vice-President, Infrastructure, at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. "Because these projects are carried out under 15-, 20- or even 30-year agreements, they enable us to generate stable, predictable returns for our depositors over the long term."

The Centre for AgriBioscience is a joint venture between the Victorian State Government and La Trobe University. It includes research laboratories, greenhouses and offices that will be used by more than 400 researchers. In an effort to support and protect Victoria's AU$11.6-billion agricultural sector, the research carried out will focus in particular on identifying and studying diseases likely to attack living cultures and organisms.

The project will be carried out under a 25-year agreement that includes design, construction, financing and operation of the facility.

The other projects the Caisse invested in with Plenary in 2012, included the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre project, a hospital, court facilities and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Christopher Whitefield

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