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CPW Stage 2 gets the support of shareholders

September 28, 2016

CPW Stage 2 gets the support of shareholders – completed late 2018

Key points:
· Stage 2 scale changed and Sheffield included. Now two stages, not three

· Underground pipes rather than canal as per Stage 1

· No water taken from the Waimakariri River

· Significant environmental benefits

Stage 2 of the Central Plains Water irrigation scheme has received the unanimous support of over 200 shareholders and construction of the 20,000Ha stage will be completed by September 2018.

Concurrent with Stage 2 will be the 4250Ha Sheffield Scheme, which also received the unanimous support of shareholders. While preliminary design work has already commenced on both projects, the main construction will not hit peak until the middle of next year.

The decision, reached at a recent Special General Meeting, has given the CPWL Board and staff the mandate to proceed with the $250m construction and funding for the project subject to negotiation of acceptable commercial terms.

Derek Crombie, CEO of CPWL, said that Stage 2 differs from what was originally planned, both in scale and construction methodology.

“Originally we were going to build the scheme in three stages and continue the canal across the Canterbury Plains towards Sheffield. We are now using a buried pipeline and will lay approximately 21km of 2.5 metre to 1.6 metre diameter glass reinforced polymer trunk main pipe linking to a further 184km of HDPE pipes to take the water to the farm gate. Fourteen pump stations will also be built.

“We will also not be taking water from the Waimakariri River for Stage 2, as originally planned, as we now can also source water from Lake Coleridge .
“Very little extra capacity has been built into each pipeline, so it is imperative that those wanting to purchase further shares do so now, otherwise it could be too late. We cannot retrofit extra capacity.

“The other good news is that across all the three stages, mixed farming systems (dairy, sheep and beef, arable including some dairy support), will be the predominant land use,” he said.
The total CPWL scheme (Stage 1, Stage 2 and Sheffield) will cost a total of $400m and covering 50,000 Ha of highly productive land.

“The scheme will provide significant environmental benefits by replacing current groundwater abstraction with very reliable river water sourced from the Rakaia and Lake Coleridge catchments. Stage 1 of the scheme has already replaced 75% of the groundwater abstraction in that area and the same is expected in the next stages.

“Already we are starting to see benefits in the Stage 1 area with bore levels remaining steady, even during a drought period,” he said.

The CPWL scheme has been developed by about 360 shareholders who have contributed $90 Million which has been supported by the initial development funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries Irrigation Acceleration Fund; short term loans from the Selwyn District Council and construction funding from CPWL Banks ANZ and Westpac. Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd have also committed to a significant support for the Stage 2 phase of the project.

“The Shareholder meeting demonstrated the high level of farmer support and SDC Mayor Kelvin Coe congratulated the group for their vision noting the contribution the scheme and its farms make to the district’s economy. The full CPWL scheme is expected to create over 1000 new jobs and add over $1 Billion annually to the economy,” he said.


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