An irrigation scheme in Canterbury has joined forces with Solid Energy to get the first $100 million phase of the project off the ground.
Central Plains Water has gained resource consents to irrigate 60,000 hectares of farmland between the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers.
General manager Derek Crombie says the scheme has a $5 million loan from Selwyn District Council and he hopes a Government fund will match that amount.
With many technical staff tied up with the Christchurch rebuild, Mr Crombie said the company approached Solid Energy to project-manage the first phase as it already has technical expertise in the region.
He said the partnership will also keep expertise and jobs in the region.