Crown Irrigation has provided Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company with a $34.4million secured loan

09 December 2018 | Author: Murray Gribben

Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (‘CIIL’ or ‘the Company’) has provided the Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company (‘Kurow Duntroon’) with a cash debt facility of $34.4 million for their upgrade project.

Kurow Duntroon already operates a community-based irrigation scheme along the Waitaki River in North-Otago. The current project seeks to upgrade the existing open canal scheme will a fully piped system.

The upgraded irrigation scheme will retire abstraction from small streams, with irrigators migrating from scarce ground water and tributary surface water sources to the mainstream Waitaki river.

The irrigators will be able to receive almost 100% reliable water from the scheme, whereas up until now their reliability from tributaries has been quite low as they naturally run dry in the middle of summer. The transition to reliable irrigation water from the scheme will significantly reduce the amount of water coming out of the tributaries for irrigation, which is expected to have significant environmental benefits.

There will be very little in the way of “new” irrigation development with the scheme’s upgrade and expansion.  Most of the farms are already irrigating, and they will be able to continue to do so in a more efficient and effective way – producing “more crop per drop.”  There are no conversions to dairy farming occurring under the expansion.

All irrigators will be required to operate externally-audited Farm Environment Management Plans (FEMP’s). These will require them to continually assess and improve their practices, actively manage environmental issues and the scheme will undertake extensive water quality monitoring.

The terms of the investment have been approved by CIIL’s Board of Directors. The transaction has been subject to comprehensive due diligence by the Company.

Construction of the upgrade is expected to be completed in February 2020.