HDI confident of raising $5m

Hunter Downs Irrigation is confident it will raise up to $5 million from investors by the Friday deadline.

The scheme, which has consents to irrigate up to 40,000 hectares of South Canterbury farmland north of the Waitaki River, launched its initial offer for 40,000 partly paid ordinary shares in HDI in March.

HDI co-director Stacey Scott said although it had the option to extend the offer until next week, at this stage it was confident there was enough interest.

"But really, this is the region's best and only chance for water for irrigation. We won't get another one quite like this," she said.

Mrs Scott said the money raised from the initial share offer would go towards the pre-construction phase of the project, including consenting, land access and construction capital-raising work programmes over the next two years.

The scheme received its consents for water use in late 2011, after Environment Court appeals were settled.

Last year, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) granted the scheme $640,000 from the ministry's "irrigation acceleration fund".

Mrs Scott said the HDI board would have a good idea of the exact level of interest tomorrow.

The initial offer would raise funds for irrigating up to 20,000ha of land.

If the minimum funding requirements were not met, then no shares would be allotted under this offer and it was unlikely the scheme would go ahead.

The Timaru Herald