Excellent year for Pioneer yields record dividend

An aerial photo shows the powerhouse and substation for Pioneer Energy's just-opened Upper Fraser Hydro Scheme. Pioneer has just announced a record dividend for the last financial year. Photo: Pioneer Energy
An aerial photo shows the powerhouse and substation for Pioneer Energy's just-opened Upper Fraser Hydro Scheme. Pioneer has just announced a record dividend for the last financial year. Photo: Pioneer Energy
Pioneer Energy has announced a record dividend to its owner and charitable funder, the Central Lakes Trust.

A total dividend of $10million for the 2018-19 financial year was announced yesterday - $1.2million more than anticipated.

Pioneer Energy is 100% owned by the trust, forming 38% of its investment portfolio.

Trust chairwoman Linda Robertson said Pioneer had had an ''outstanding year''

''The trust's annual grant budget - now at approximately $9million - comes from the prudent and diversified investment of the trust's assets, worth $388million. The dividend and the excellent performance of Pioneer will certainly have a significant impact into our community.''

''We are very proud of our partnership with Pioneer Energy and the award-winning work they carry out. As you can imagine, their success is integral to the work of the trust and we look forward to continuing to strengthen that relationship.''

Pioneer Energy chairman Stuart Heal said the trust's support was appreciated as Pioneer continued to grow its business nationally, ''in both scale and diversity''.

It was also ''great'' to see an increasing number of customers sign up to Pioneer's retail arm.

Pioneer this week opened its latest investment, the Upper Fraser hydro generation scheme, in Central Otago.

Pioneer chief executive Fraser Jonker would not disclose a final figure for the project for commercial reasons, but said it was worth more than $20million.

The scheme's powerhouse is 3km upstream of the Fraser Dam, near where the inflow from Rough Creek joins the Fraser River. The water intake is a further 3.5km upriver from the powerhouse.

The scheme can generate enough electricity to power 4000 households.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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