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Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme Investor Update

HBRIC Ltd Media Release
27 March 2014
Investor Update

Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd (HBRIC) received formal notification of TrustPower’s decision to withdraw from investing in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme this morning.

HBRIC Ltd is continuing to negotiate on a confidential basis with a number of parties considering investment in the Scheme, either as equity or debt. HBRIC Ltd expects the final capital structure to become clear as it consolidates Water User Agreements with irrigators.

Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd is currently in active engagement with HBRIC Ltd about a potential investment in the Ruataniwha scheme, but as with HBRIC Ltd and its shareholder, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, has made no decision to invest at this point.

HBRIC Ltd is continuing to work with the other institutional investor; Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation Ltd (NTHC). NTHC says the project has a number of components that are key to its success, including commercial criteria and the involvement of the right investment partners. It is currently working these issues through with HBRIC Ltd and other parties. Participation will be dependent on these matters being satisfactorily addressed.

Qualified Hawke’s Bay investors are also being given the opportunity to express their interest in investing in the water storage scheme, through a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) which was released last week.

HBRIC remains strongly of the view that RWSS offers the Hawke’s Bay community both significant environmental and economic benefits and that subject to securing contractual commitments to take water that the scheme will prove financially viable.

The scheme has the potential to supply secure irrigation to 25,000-30,000 hectares of land for irrigated farming, while improving the water quality and summer flows in the Tukituki River. If given approval, and once operational, the scheme is expected to create around 2,520 new jobs throughout Hawke’s Bay.

ENDS

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