Australia: Sundrop Farms has a new owner

16-05-2019    02:15   |    Patrick Martin/ABC

World-leading agriculture business Sundrop Farms has a new owner, but the final price tag remains a closely-guarded secret.

After a year-long process the company has bought by trans-Tasman infrastructure investment firm, Morrison and Co. for an undisclosed amount.

Sundrop Farms opened the only facility of its kind in the world at Port Augusta in South Australia in 2016, and uses sunlight and seawater to grow tomatoes.

The facility uses more than 23,000 mirrors to capture sunlight and direct it to a central receiver at the top of a 127-metre "power" tower.

All the water used for irrigating the crops is piped from the Spencer Gulf and converted into fresh water using a thermal desalination unit.

At its peak it produces 39 megawatts of thermal energy, which is used for electricity, heating and making water.

The commercial facility cost about $200 million to build, with private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR) investing $100 million.

The facility produces about 17,000 tonnes of truss tomatoes a year and holds a 10-year supply contract with Coles Australia.

The company's pilot plants in Tennessee and Portugal were sold prior to the Morrison and Co. deal.

Click here to read the complete article at ABC Rural.

Photo credit: Sundrop Farms

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