We have now secured funding for the detailed design of the project which includes all activities needed
to get to a ‘final investment decision’ or the ‘go’ point. The funding is from two sources, a loan from the Selwyn District Council of $5 million and a grant from the Irrigation Acceleration Fund of $1.7 million, with up to a further $4m available subject to us meeting progress milestones in March. The funding has given us the means to boost our team working on the project from four up to 20 (which includes outside consultants).
This funding will allow key activities to continue including:
- Securing water reliability.
- Implementing consent requirements.
- Developing water user agreements and Farm Management Plans with farmers.
- Completing detailed design of the river intake, canal, pipe distribution and control systems.
- Finalising all the costs of the scheme, recon, farming economics and securing committed funding for farmers and loan providers.
With Stage 1 expected to cost between $120 to $140 million, we anticipate we will need initially to raise up to $50 million in Equity Capital from farmer shareholders or other partners.
This will cover land acquisition costs, a proportion of the construction costs of the scheme, re financing of consent costs and the short-term financing currently in place.
At this stage, we are looking at different options for the total funding solutions and we will be in close communication once we have finalized the preferred option.