France presented a plan to launch a €2 billion investment fund for critical metals on Wednesday (11 May), which according to former industry boss Philippe Varin is just a starting point, with more to come.
InfraVia Capital Partners revealed its plan to launch a dedicated Critical Metals Fund with a target amount of €2 billion1. The purpose of this fund is to invest in critical metals that support the energy transition and secure supply chains for French and European industries. This marks the third investment strategy for InfraVia, an investment firm founded 15 years ago with a strong presence in the infrastructure and technology sectors.
The energy transition calls for extensive electrification, including batteries, electric motors, renewable energy, and smart grids. These developments continue to drive an increasingly massive impact on the demand for specific metals. InfraVia is convinced that the economy is transitioning from a carbon-based model to a metal-based one. Securing these metals represents not only a major sovereignty challenge but also an exceptional investment opportunity, similar to those experienced in infrastructure and technology in recent decades.
Capitalizing on these opportunities, the fund will concentrate on investments that meet the demands of the energy transition while reinforcing French and European sovereignty in this field and more broadly across various industrial sectors. The fund will allocate investments both within France and globally, targeting the supply chains of critical metals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Investments will span projects that encompass the entire value chain, from extraction to processing and recycling.
InfraVia anticipates the fund’s initial closing at €1 billion by the end of 2023, with a target size of €2 billion, allowing investments to be made on an industrial scale. With an initial term of 25 years, the fund is also geared towards long-term “industrial time” objectives.
The State has committed to supporting this initiative by allocating €500 million through the France 2030 plan, overseen by the General Secretariat for Investment. Since 2021, France 2030 has been accelerating the emergence, industrialisation and growth of companies, in particular through funds and funds of funds that focus on priority sectors, particularly industries and sustainable development, that stimulate growth and create jobs nationwide. The Caisse des Dépôts will act as the operator for this investment on behalf of the State.
In addition to the State, the Fund’s investors will include industry stakeholders who are most directly concerned, as well as numerous institutional investors eager to contribute to the energy transition.
Vincent Levita, Founder and CEO of InfraVia, stated: “We are extremely proud to launch this highly strategic fund and that benefits from the support of the State. This fund will address two key challenges: generating long-term financial returns linked to the surging demand for these metals and securing supply for French and European industries. The availability of critical metals is necessary to enable the ongoing energy transition and to ensure our sovereignty within this shift. The launch of this fund, which brings together public and private project financing actors, strengthens our commitment and investment in the energy transition and all its implications.“
The Fund will integrate the strictest ESG standards in the projects it supports, addressing environmental factors, social considerations, and governance practices. These will be aligned with the industry’s highest standards to foster progress across the entire sector.