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Thirteen years after it was first mooted, Central Plains Water Ltd (CPWL) Board have given approval for the giant scheme to become a reality after 90% of Stage I shareholders and over 72% of Stage II and III committed to the 60,000ha scheme.
For the scheme to progress it needed commitment for 18,000h of Stage I and 26,000 ha of Stage II and III. Both thresholds have been met fully by existing shareholders.
Chief executive Derek Crombie said that achieving this level of commitment from shareholders is testimony to the phenomenal dedication and hard work put in by so many over the years.
“I’m sure that there were many times when the hurdles seemed too great, so now all that is required is for the board to confirm our construction programme and to allocate shares,which should happen in the next week."
"To get this high level of uptake for the scheme from the existing shareholders is a fantastic result."
"This commitment ensures that the ownership remains local. We set a pretty high bar but are now delighted to say that we have managed to clear it,” he said.
CPWL has commenced engagement with potential contractors, including site visits and technical briefings.
Tenders for the construction of the 100km of pipeline for Stage I close on December 3 and will be announced in mid-February, while tenders for the headrace and 17km-long canal close on December 17 and will also be announced in mid-February.
The scheme will become an anchor project for central Canterbury with the ability to generate long term economic and employment benefits. It will be as important as the anchor projects proposed for [Chritschurch's] central city.