Case Studies

Sundrop Farms world’s first commercial seawater greenhouse

Team: Mark Gordon, Simon Venus, Tim O’Callaghan

Service: Corporate & Commercial | Property & Development
Sector: Agriculture & Food

With conventional farming practices and climate change exerting significant pressure on water and food in many regions of the world, Sundrop Farms has developed technologies to responsibly grow crops in some of the driest regions, using abundant renewable resources.

In 2010 the company began operating the world’s first commercial seawater greenhouse at the top of the Spencer Gulf, near Port Augusta. Given the lack of fresh water, degraded pasture land and harsh climates, traditional agriculture would struggle in this area. With the help of Sundrop Farms’ proprietary technologies, they have been growing natural and high-quality produce from seawater and sunlight.

The Sundrop Farms System™ harnesses the sun’s energy to desalinate seawater to produce freshwater for irrigation, produce electricity to power their greenhouse and provide the energy to heat and cool the greenhouse. The company’s seawater drenched greenhouse ventilation cleans and sterilises the air, making it possible to grow crops without chemical pesticides.

Piper Alderman has assisted Sundrop Farms with corporate, commercial and property advice on their early operations, and most recently on a significant 20 hectare glasshouse expansion project, underpinned by a 10 year produce offtake agreement with Coles and private equity funding from global investment firm KKR.

What our client said

Philipp Saumweber, Managing Director

“Our experience with the Piper Alderman has been nothing short of excellent. Their multi-disciplinary team has efficiently and effectively guided us through all kinds of challenges, all leading to positive outcomes. Piper Alderman’s professionalism and diligence is world-class. Their intimate knowledge of their clients and the attention to the customer make them a stand out. We could not be more delighted with the representation and service we receive.”