SMI proudly introduces the 16th Annual Benelux Infrastructure Forum in November 2017!

This year's conference will present the latest opinions within the infrastructure market from key professionals in PPP, project financing and future market sectors such as renewable energy ventures. Through discussions on the latest infrastructure projects in the region, informative presentations and networking opportunities, this premier event will provide an unrivalled gathering of industry’s infrastructure developers, investors, financiers & government agencies in the Benelux region.

The Forum will provide insight into the recent changes of project financing for infrastructure in the Benelux area and evaluate the new mechanisms of investment such as debt financing, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), refinancing projects and subsidies such as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Other new topics for this year include looking at the challenges of project risk in new markets for enticing investors; issues of increasingly greener regulations on slowing progress for projects; lessons learnt from outside of Benelux such as from the Calais Harbour expansion project; a look into future markets and where investment could be heading such as energy storage, offshore wind and geothermal energy projects; and a detailed look at international investment into Benelux infrastructure. 

The conference has established itself as the industry-leading event for the Benelux region and will provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn and network amongst senior executives in this thriving industry. The Benelux Infrastructure Forum is the only place to meet the major players within this industry from banks, constructors and institutional investors to the lawyers and the regulators.

•Join the only conference tailored to the specific issues that the Benelux region faces

Case study updates from major projects in the region including; the Port of Antwerp and Calais Harbour
•Explore the different financing models and mitigate various risks for mega projects to ensure success
•Benchmark against other major EU infrastructure projects for best practice and optimal model
Discover what investors are looking for and what the future infrastructure market could look like
Exclusive networking opportunities with key opinion leaders and decision makers at the forefront of the Benelux region


Previous Attending Organisations: 

3i; Abn Amro Bank; ABN AMRO Bank N.V; Allen & Overy L L P; Allen & Overy LLP; Allianz Global Investors; ALTIUS - Law Firm; Aon EMEA North East; BAM PPP; Bayerische Landesbank; Bilfinger; Bouwfonds Investment Management; Credit Agricole Indosuez; Deka Bank; DEME; DG ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL AFFAIRS ; Diepenhorst de Vos en Partners (DVP); Dura Vermeer Groep N.V.; EIB/ EPEC ; Ejigbo Local Counci Development Area; Equator; Green Investment Bank; Gulermak Heavy Industries; IIFS; KBC; KBC Bank N.V; KPMG Advisory; Liedekerke ; Macquarie Capital; Marguerite Fund; Mazars; Ministry of Finance, Netherlands; NautaDutilh N.V.; Nord LB; Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale; Norton Rose; Norton Rose Fulbright LLP; NWB Bank; Oresundsbro Konsortiet; ParkWind; PMV ; Port of Rotterdam; Rabobank; SMBC Europe Division; SMBC Europe Limited Amsterdam Branch; Van Oord; VolkerWessels

Conference programme

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Willem Stitselaar

Willem Stitselaar, Managing Director, Head of Energy and Infrastructure Benelux, Macquarie Capital
View Bio

9:10 Opening Address

Willem Stitselaar

Willem Stitselaar, Managing Director, Head of Energy and Infrastructure Benelux, Macquarie Capital
View Bio

  • Major trends and the latest developments in the Benelux market
  • Developments in renewable projects in the Benelux
  • New territories for offshore wind
  • Asia and the United States
  • Trends in new technologies
  • Floating wind and Tidal
  • Project financing for alternative energy
  • Battery Storage
  • The future for Benelux project development
  • 9:40 Panel Discussion

  • Recent increase in deployment of grid-connected batteries that should reduce fossil-fuel reliance
  • Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are the missing link from wind and solar energy infrastructure
  • Challenges of innovating ahead of regulator expectations
  • Advantages of subsidies and the future battle to maintain these
  • A consequence of meeting increasing energy demand and decarbonisation of economies
  • Lessons from current and past ESS and the bankability and profitability of these as examples of financial models for the future
  • Andrew  Petry

    Andrew Petry, Partner, Simmons & Simmons
    View Bio

    Lisa McDermott

    Lisa McDermott, Structured Debt, ABN Amro Bank N.V
    View Bio

    Gerard Reid

    Gerard Reid, Founder, Alexa Capital
    View Bio

    10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 Achieving optimal profitability and project success from alternative infrastructure projects outside Private-Public Partnerships (PPP)

    Mathias Pahlke

    Mathias Pahlke, Head of Infrastructure , Nord LB
    View Bio

  • Outline of viable developments in the infrastructure sector and prospective investment opportunities through upcoming asset classes
  • Energy storage
  • Data centres
  • Fibre networks
  • Practical advice on mitigating niche-market risks by acknowledging risk profiles and allocation
  • Comparison of these markets and considering if these are alternative investments
  • Considerations for the future outlook of infrastructure projects outside of PPP by highlighting the challenges of improving awareness and information for alternative market entry

    11:40 Project Finance markets other than Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and offshore wind

    Jeroen Kies

    Jeroen Kies, Assistant General Manager, SMBC Europe Limited Amsterdam Branch

  • Considerations of what are alternative markets
  • What alternative markets do we see outside of Benelux?
  • Which of these alternative markets would be suitable for the Benelux market?
  • What are the major trends for the upcoming years?
  • Summary of which way alternative markets are expected to develop
  • 12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:50 TBC

    Zeeger de Jongh

    Zeeger de Jongh , Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

    Representative, TBC, Allen and Overy

    14:10 TBC

    Zeeger de Jongh

    Zeeger de Jongh , Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

    Representative, TBC, Allen and Overy

    14:30 Discussing green financing for green investment portfolios

    Edwin van Veenhuizen

    Edwin van Veenhuizen, Business Manager Structure Finance and Public Sector, BNG bank

  • Facilitating the transition to renewable energy
  • Supporting green investments in energy transitions with subordinated debt
  • Common standards and issuing principles
  • 15:00 Afternoon Tea

    15:30 Institutional investor favourability of 'built assets' and project refinancing

    Benoit Theys

    Benoit Theys, Real Estate PPP Finance Manager, AG Real Estate
    View Bio

  • Restraints for institutional investors in taking new project risks
  • Competition in the market
  • Freezing of decisions on large-scale road, rail and energy projects by governments since the financial crisis
  • Decreasing margins on projects
  • Liquidity of assets
  • Not only quantity of projects, but equally quality
  • Built assets such as airports and toll roads deliver steady income streams, providing investment insurance
  • Outlining alternative market strategies for institutional investors to succeed against a harsher infrastructure climate
  • 16:00 Case-study: Bond financing at Calais Harbour and solutions to challenges

    Francois Yves Gaudeul

    Francois Yves Gaudeul, Director, Infrastructure Debt, Allianz Global Investors
    View Bio

  • The Calais Port 2015 Project amounts to 863 million worth of investment
  • An in-depth evaluation of Calais harbour expansion that was an essential project for a strategic port, but with a few challenges
  • Solution to challenges through a project structure based on a balanced relationship between the stakeholders
  • Benefits of robust and innovative financing through bond issuance with Project Bond Credit Enhancement (PBCE) scheme


  • 16:30 Managing equity investments in infrastructure

    Guy Hardy

    Guy Hardy, Senior Investment Director, DIF

  • Funding sources
  • Equity cycles
  • Market trends
  • New markets
  • 17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One

    Willem Stitselaar

    Willem Stitselaar, Managing Director, Head of Energy and Infrastructure Benelux, Macquarie Capital
    View Bio

    8:30 Registration & Coffee

    9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Zeeger de Jongh

    Zeeger de Jongh , Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

    9:10 Keynote Address

    Nick Gardiner

    Nick Gardiner, Managing Director and Head of Offshore , Green Investment Bank

  • Outlining the inward and outward flow of infrastructure investment in the Benelux region
  • Examples of Benelux infrastructure projects funded by foreign investment
  • China
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Improving appeal to attract and engage foreign investment
  • Adjusting our investment strategies for a world in transition
  • *Speaker Subject to Final Confirmation

    9:50 Panel Discussion

  • Addressing the importance of offshore wind to the energy future and energy security of Europe
  • Good auction design and implementation are vital to the allocation of tracts and to the ultimate success of wind energy policy
  • Effects of network constraints and grid stability
  • Water depth; wind quality; bottom conditions; location; system integration costs
  • Competitive bidding phenomenon
  • Need to encourage diversification through the current momentum of SME's (small and medium-sized enterprises)
  • Lessons learnt: case studies of recent offshore wind tender systems and auction processes
  • Boris Balan

    Boris Balan, Vice President, Europe, Northland Power
    View Bio

    Zeeger de Jongh

    Zeeger de Jongh , Partner, Allen & Overy LLP

    10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 An update on the status of offshore wind tenders and perspectives on the market outlook

    Niels Jongste

    Niels Jongste, Managing Director, Green Giraffe
    View Bio

  • General market update on recent tendering processes
  • Assessing the results of present tender rounds
  • Expectations for the next round of offshore wind tenders, considering recent developments
  • Opinions of the long-term outlook for the offshore wind market in the Benelux region and wider-European region
  • 11:40 Public-private partnership (PPP) in wind

    Karoy Hornyak

    Karoy Hornyak, Director Project Finance, Ventolines
    View Bio

  • Introduction to the Windfarm Fryslan (WPF) project
  • Participation of the Dutch Province of Fryslan in WPF
  • Public, private lending considerations for the project
  • Further financing and development options for WPF
  • Weighing the options for more public investments in wind to follow
  • 12:00 Challenges and opportunities for investors in the Belgian PPP and Renewable market

    Mark Hillewaere

    Mark Hillewaere, Fund Manager, PMV Fund Management

  • Infrastructure needs provided through Government actions
  • Solvency II
  • New vehicles in infrastructure
  • From project pipelines to realization
  • Challenges for projects
  • ESA (European System of Accounts) neutrality
  • Public support mechanism in renewables
  • Beyond the traditional opportunities in the infrastructure market
  • 12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:50 Investing in Benelux: An equity investors perspectives on PPP

    Stephane Duhr

    Stephane Duhr, Director, 3i
    View Bio

  • Overview of 3i's first-hand experience as an equity investor in projects and core infrastructure
  • Personally leading origination of projects in France, Benelux and Central Europe
    Opportunity to promote PPP in new Dutch sectors (other than Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) sponsored road and dijks)]
  • Secondary PPP market
  • Rarity of auction sales
  • Lessons learnt from projects gone wrong

    14:20 Optimal use of funding regulations and avoiding regulatory disincentives

    Alistair Perkins

    Alistair Perkins, Head of Project Finance, NN Investment Partners B.V
    View Bio

  • Regulations often create barriers that constrain long-term investment
  • Failure to appropriately tailor regulations can close off opportunities
  • Regulations can be an effective tool for creating financial stability and restoring and maintaining confidence in the financial markets and not always seen as negative
  • When it functions to enable long-term investment, it can pave the way for citizens to meet their future financial needs
  • Need for standardization in the Benelux to create positive impact
  • Rules should be tailored to the investor
  • Decision-makers should avoid unduly burdensome regulations
  • Discussion on Solvency II
  • 14:30 Case Study: Amsterdam Court House

    Benjamin Hemming

    Benjamin Hemming, Senior Investment Manager Infrastructure Debt, MEAG MUNICH ERGO Asset Management GmbH
    View Bio

  • Innovative PPP financing scheme including long-term institutional loans next to construction-related bank loans and public sector operational financing
  • MEAG's assessment of construction risks from a re-insurance perspective
  • Benefits and challenges of hybrid financing solutions
  • The financing scheme
  • Is this a template for future PPP deals in the Netherlands?
  • 14:50 Update on the Investment Plan for Europe and its various elements

    Michael Feith

    Michael Feith, Policy Officer, Directorate-General Economic and Financial Affairs
    View Bio

  • Update on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and case studies of supported projects
  • Assistance for project promoters: the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH)
  • Solutions for reaching investors worldwide: the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP)
  • EFSI 2.0
  • Focus more on sustainable investments in all sectors to contribute to meeting COP21 (Paris Climate Conference) targets
  • Enhancement of geographical coverage and ways to reinforce take-up in less-developed regions
  • Transparency of investment decisions and governance procedures
  • Reinforcing the social dimension by means of additional financial instruments under the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) window
  • 15:10 Afternoon Tea

    15:40 Initial findings from the European Union's High-Level Task Force (HLTF) on social infrastructure and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)

    Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright, Research Director, Integrate Think Tank
    View Bio

  • Outlining the need for the Task Force and addressing the context of social infrastructure issues
  • Details of the stakeholders involved and the set-up of the Task Force
  • Structure of the HLTF's research
  • Explanations of the findings from the research to date
  • Recommendations for the next steps for key players in the infrastructure industry as a result of the findings
  • 17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day Two



    Movenpick Hotel Meeting Centre 2

    Piet Heinkade 27, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The conference will be organized in Meeting Centre 2, which is located in the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. When you enter the PTA, take the escalator upstairs and turn right.
    Or take the elevator to the 2nd floor and turn right.



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    Movenpick Hotel Meeting Centre 2

    Piet Heinkade 27
    Amsterdam 1019

    Movenpick Hotel Meeting Centre 2

    The conference will be organized in Meeting Centre 2, which is located in the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. When you enter the PTA, take the escalator upstairs and turn right.
    Or take the elevator to the 2nd floor and turn right.



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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SMI Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@smi-online.co.uk

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