Prime Minister John Key (left) and Central Plains Water Ltd
chairman Doug Catherwood turn the first sod on the project.
Work is finally under way on the construction of the $375
million Central Plains irrigation scheme, near Hororata.
Prime Minister John Key was on hand to turn the first sod of
the scheme two weeks ago, to get work under way after more
than a decade since the project was first conceived.
Stage one of the 60,000ha scheme, which has been in the
pipeline since 2001, was expected to deliver water to
20,000ha of central Canterbury farmland in September next
Central Plains Water Ltd chief executive Derek Crombie said
the first major work on the $140 million first stage,
comprising the 17km-long headrace canal and bridges, had
begun, with construction of the 130km-long pipeline network
picking up momentum mid-year.
''We expect to have up to 150 contractors working on a number
of sites in the near future and to this end we are heartened
by the experience of our two major contractors, Fulton
Hogan/John Holland JV on the headrace canal and Downers,
supported by subcontractors Aquaduct NZ Ltd, for the pipe
''Our plan is to have the headrace canal and bridges
substantially finished by the middle of next year, including
lining the canal. This means we should be able to fill the
canal in July, which will give us nearly two months of
testing and tidying up before water officially flows in
''As for the pipe distribution network, the intention is to
build a pipe manufacturing plant in the scheme area. We will
start now with laying some of the smaller pipes that can be
manufactured locally and look to have the new plant up and
running towards the end of winter. The first shipment of pipe
plastic for the plant is already on the water,'' he said.