IMA Case Study – Chulu Farm, Kenya

Energy efficiency and environmental impact

Are you concerned about the environment and your companies running cost?
We at IMA know that refrigeration, along with lighting, heating and cooling account for a significant proportion of energy use in a building

In Kenya we are installing our latest generation of cold rooms to help bring down the running cost of pack houses.

When Everest Enterprises CEO Mr John Karuga (JK) contacted IMA to design a new state of the art facility in the Mount Kenya region at their Chulu Farm Facility, he wanted not only IMA’s renowned outstanding build quality, but also our latest in energy saving soulutions.

The Design

The design of the new facility would be based on the foot print of a low/high care facility in Nairobi that had been running already for some time.

To meet the requirements that JK laid out, IMA designed the facility in conjunction with a local Architect Patrick Mugo; who organised the steel structure, concrete slab and drainage.

IMA was responsible for designing the facilities internal structure including high humidity pre-cooling, temperature controlled low care pack house, and temperature controlled high care, Blast Chiller, Water chiller, Gel pack freezer, and 2 holding cold rooms.

The Energy Saving & Environment

IMA designed a refrigeration system with quality and efficiency in mind, using 3 of the latest high efficiency 3 Bitzer compressor system all computer controlled with manual backups. The system compressors and condenser fans are inverter driven and gradual start up to reach full capacity and reduce according to demand.

In comparison technicians in Kenya traditionally still buy and install individual condensing units which are all or nothing start & stop. At Everest Nairobi facility this was the case with their particular system having nine separate condensing units. In comparison Chulu farm has one condensing unit with 3 compressors.

Less is More

The difference was clear when comparing the first set of electricity bills for the energy consumption of the two facilities. The electricity bill

Nairobi 1.2 million shillings per month (approximately $14,000)

Chulu farm 300,000 shillings per month (approximately $3,500)

That’s an astonishing 75% Saving

In addition the facility was commissioned on 6th June 2012 and the run time of the refrigeration plant on 20th September 2012 was expected to be about 2000 hours. When we went into the condensing unit computer to check the running time for each compressor we were amazed, only 458 hours. Not only have we dramatically reduced the electricity bill but also the wear and tear on the compressors.

IMA Added Benefits

Due to the local High Humidity post-Harvest, pre-cooling of the product is necessary; With IMA’s High Humidity Cooler’s (HHC’s) we can bring down the temperature of our quality grown produce without dehydration, which in turn gives us longer shelf life and no weight loss. Along with the continuation of the cold chain we can maintain the very high standards of the produce required by worldwide customers with the type of products they require and expect.

Personal Safety

The facility is built from half hour PIR fire safe panels with emergency exists, emergency lighting, safe working light levels and adequate staff facilities.

Client testimonial

“We have taken a chance on our investment, taken your advice and put our money where our mouth is and I am very happy with the outcome and the savings are amazing!”

John Karuga CEO Everest Enterprises