22/03/2021 - 12:54

Alterra to bank $695k R&D tax scheme refund

22/03/2021 - 12:54

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ASX-listed WA agribusiness avocado orchard developer, Alterra Ltd says it expects to bank nearly $700,000 courtesy of the Federal Government’s research and development tax incentive scheme. According to the company, the government scheme, administered by the ATO, recognises the innovative avocado growing methodology it has implemented across the initial five-hectare planting out of its flagship Carpenters avocado project development in WA’s South West.

ASX-listed WA agribusiness avocado orchard developer, Alterra Ltd says it expects to bank nearly $700,000 courtesy of the Federal Government’s research and development tax incentive scheme. According to the company, the government scheme, administered by the ATO, recognises the innovative avocado growing methodology it has implemented across the initial five-hectare planting out of its flagship Carpenters avocado project development in WA’s South West.

Perth-based Alterra says the anticipated research and development claim proceeds will go towards meeting preliminary capital works costs for the planned next-stage 52-hectare planting at Carpenters.

Alterra Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Barnes said: “We are utilising intelligent irrigation and fertigation systems and real-time detection systems for soil and root health, which is expected to deliver increased yield and fruit size. Our aim is to achieve more than 90 per cent premium-grade fruit at 28 tonnes per hectare.”

Alterra recently completed a feasibility study on the proposed 300-hectare Carpenters avocado project and former blue gum plantation in the South West town of Pemberton.

CAPEX for the Carpenters development was forecast at $40.6 million, with the study pointing to a pre-tax net present value of $99 million, a 22 per cent internal rate of return and a minimum 30-year project life.

The company hopes to lock down funding for the development from both the debt and equity markets and will look to retain a minority interest on its own books. Discussions are progressing well with equity and debt providers, according to management.

Subject to the availability of capital, Alterra plans to plant avocado trees on about 52 hectares this year, after the initial test run of five hectares last year.

Planting of the remaining avocado trees designated for the balance of about 245 hectares has been earmarked for the following two years.

Significantly, from a water supply and storage perspective, Alterra says construction of a 4.1-gigalitre dam at the property has kicked off and is to be fully funded by the landowner from whom the company leases the Carpenters land.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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