Alterra Announces $694K R&D Claim for Carpenters

Alterra Ltd (ASX:1AG) (Alterra or Company) is pleased to announce that it has lodged a $693,945 Research and Development (R&D) claim with AusIndustry and the Australian Taxation Office.

The R&D Tax incentive recognises the innovative avocado growing methodology that has been implemented at the initial 5-hectare planting at the Company’s flagship development, Carpenters during the financial year ending 30 September 2020.

The R&D funds will be used to meet preliminary development costs for the 52ha planting which once developed will see the Company and the Carpenters Project well positioned in the Avocado landscape in Western Australia.

Alterra’s R&D focus is combining proprietary research, learnings from the citrus and stone fruit industries and hydroponic methodologies traditionally only used for high-value products such as berries to improve production efficiency.

“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,” said Chief Executive Officer Oliver Barnes.

Following the completion of the 300ha Feasibility Study (FS) in December 2020, Alterra has been focused on managing the 5ha trial site and securing funding for the 52ha next stage of development.

The FS was underpinned by extensive and rigorous testwork, data and modelling and confirmed the opportunity for the Company to develop a large-scale project in a premium horticultural region.

Key outcomes from the FS include:

  • 30-year life span
  • Pre-tax NPV8 of $99M and IRR of 22%
  • Development capex of $40.6M ($33.8M net of management fees) over 3 years
  • Water self-sufficiency with access to 4.1GL dam for irrigation