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Crown Irrigation Invests up to $3.4m in North Canterbury

Media release

23 November 2016

Crown Irrigation Invests up to $3.4m in North Canterbury – some good news for the region

Crown Irrigation Investments will invest up to $3.4m in the Hurunui Water Project, an irrigation scheme that will be capable of irrigating up to 21,000 hectares on the south side of the Hurunui River in North Canterbury.

The scheme infrastructure includes water intakes from the Hurunui and Waitohi rivers, with both on plain and dam storage, and a pressurised piped distribution system. The current project cost estimate is approximately $200 million.

“The Crown Irrigation contribution is a very important step.” said Alex Adams, CEO of the Hurunui Water Project. “It supplements the recent shareholder loan that was so well subscribed and gives us the backing we need to proceed with the next development phases. Our shareholders really need this scheme and although they are seeking a lower irrigation density scheme, it will make a real difference to the community’s resilience.”

The funding has been allocated in two phases, with $1.8m being applied to the feasibility phase and a further $1.6m will be available for the project commitment phase when the project is proven to be commercially viable.

“The Hurunui Water Project scheme was one of the first to include the modern era nutrient discharge rules in its consents, and has strict requirements on both the farmers and the scheme itself.

“Since September, when the shareholder loan was subscribed and Rooney Group signed up under Early Contractor Involvement conditions, we’ve been making progress with the necessary design work,” Alex Adams said.

Murray Gribben, CEO of Crown Irrigation Investments said: “Irrigation schemes have been proven to add significant economic and environmental benefits to local regions and the New Zealand economy in other parts of the country. The Hurunui Water Project will deliver significant resilience to the local Hurunui economy which has been struggling with continued droughts over recent years.

“Crown Irrigation is looking forward to working alongside the Hurunui Water Project team to bring this important project to fruition. The capital commitment demonstrates the importance of irrigation infrastructure being successfully delivered for the region,” Murray Gribben said.

Crown Irrigation Investments provides both development funding and construction capital to irrigation schemes across New Zealand.

Crown Irrigation Investments provides funding to, and invests in, irrigation schemes that have the potential to generate long-term economic benefits from irrigation for New Zealand. Development grant funding is provided to support scheme development, and investment capital is provided alongside other partners for scheme construction.

“By assisting schemes to reach construction Crown Irrigation Investments helps harness the opportunity that irrigation provides to improve productivity in the primary sector, create jobs, increase export earnings and, ultimately, accelerate New Zealand’s economic development,” Murray Gribben said.

Alex Adams said the Project team will be meeting with its shareholders at the AGM on Wednesday 23rd November and then focusing on the local community.


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