Since being established in 2013, Crown Irrigation has supported progress in irrigation infrastructure construction in New Zealand. This support has included directly investing in scheme construction, supporting schemes to secure investment and reach financial close, and providing guidance and leadership to the irrigation sector.
Key investment achievements for Crown Irrigation include:
Central Plains Water Enhancement Strategy (CPWES) Sheffield
Central Plains Water Limited’s (CPW) Sheffield project reached financial close on 24 February 2017. CIIL has been supporting CPW throughout the development of the Sheffield project including providing development funding. CIIL construction investment was not required due to significant initial irrigator uptake. The Sheffield project forms part of the Central Plains Water Enhancement Strategy (CPWES), in conjunction with CPW Stage 1 and CPW Stage 2. The Sheffield project involves constructing infrastructure to irrigate an area of up to 4,300 hectares.
Central Plains Water Enhancement Strategy (CPWES) Stage 2
CIIL reached financial close on an $65 million investment in Central Plains Water Limited (CPW) in December 2016. CIIL’s investment supports the construction of excess capacity to be built during Stage 2, which will ultimately add a further 20,000 hectares to the scheme’s existing capacity. Construction of Stage 2 is expected to be completed in September 2018.
Stage 1 of Central Plains Water Limited (CPW)
CIIL reached financial close on an investment in CPW Stage 1 in July 2014. This investment involved providing $6.5 million to support construction of excess capacity in the scheme’s headrace. Construction was completed in September 2015. CIIL’s investment, including capitalised interest, was fully repaid in December 2016.
North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC)
CIIL engaged with NOIC regarding supporting its scheme expansion. Discussions on terms for this transaction encouraged NOIC directors to seek and utilise alternative sources of capital. As a result, NOIC secured sufficient shares to expand its scheme.
Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation
CIIL worked with scheme sponsors to develop key aspects of a term sheet for investment in Stage 2 of BCI’s scheme. Increased commitment from irrigators along with a clear offer from CIIL encouraged the scheme’s bankers to finance the whole project.
Commercial Guidance and Leadership
As well as supporting individual schemes, Crown Irrigation has organised successful industry forums alongside subject matter experts on a range of commercial and financial matters, including financing, construction risk, equity investing, project management and procurement, and the importance of good governance. This guidance has helped irrigation schemes understand what support they need to generate investor confidence and progress to financial close.
Crown Irrigation has three core functions:
Co-investing in irrigation schemes
Providing grants to irrigation schemes in development
Applying commercial expertise and leadership to irrigation schemes