The Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill with bipartisan support, the largest infrastructure package ever passed by any part of Congress.  The bill now heads to the House where a vote is not expected until October. The infrastructure bill reauthorizes spending on existing federal transportation programs and adds an additional $550 billion into making the electrical grid resilient, supporting nuclear power generation, expanding broadband access, and other modernization objectives.

 

Key Additional Spending Programs1:

  • $110bn for roads and bridges
  • $66bn for passenger rail (Amtrak)
  • $39bn for public transit (buses, subways)
  • $65bn for expanding broadband access to low-income households
  • $65bn for improving the electrical grid (transmission to enable more renewables)
  • $50bn to make energy infrastructure resilient to both cyberattacks and natural disasters
  • $15bn to replace lead water pipes
  • $7.5bn allocated to EV charging stations (500,000 planned)

 

Infrastructure Bill Passes the Senate – Largest Ever

Critical for the bipartisan agreement were no new taxes to pay for this package.  Instead, the plan includes repurposing existing COVID-19 funds, changing the fees on reporting requirements for cryptocurrency, delaying Medicare rebates, and funds from auctions of the wireless spectrum. 

 

Implications for Global Listed Infrastructure Market – Reinforces Secular Growth Themes

Listed infrastructure companies do not rely on government spending for investment in their infrastructure assets.  As a result, the spending bill has little immediate impact on the outlook for their cash flows.  Importantly, however, government policy and support for initiatives like decarbonization, asset modernization, and digital transformation, highlight the megatrend growth themes of the asset class.  We believe that the potential passing of the legislation by the House is a tailwind for the listed infrastructure companies.

 

Decarbonization:

  • Power infrastructure is broadly supported with $73bn to modernize the generation and delivery of clean electricity
  • Electrification of the transport sector with the support of a nationwide electric vehicle- charging network
  • Key investment sector that may potentially benefit: Electric Utilities

 

Asset Modernization:

  • Water-infrastructure and power-grid, directed spending for resilience and safety
  • Key investment sectors that may potentially benefit: Electric and Water Utilities

 

Digital Transformation:

  • Target of 100% high-speed broadband coverage across the U.S., increasing data penetration
  • Key investment sector that may potentially benefit: Communications

 

Over the next two decades, we see indications for up to potentially $100tn in capital spending globally across infrastructure sectors, which should potentially drive robust cash flow, dividends, and total returns for investors.

1. Source: Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as of 8/2/2021

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