IMA Case Study – Luigis Complex

Replacing old for new

Do you have an old cold room that costs the earth to run?

We at IMA know that refrigeration, along with lighting, heating and cooling account for a significant proportion of energy use in a building.

In The Gambia a country with some of the highest energy cost in the world we are installing our latest generation of cold rooms to help bring down their running.

When Luigi’s Complex contacted IMA for a replacement cold room they wanted a product that would be reliable and didn’t need fixing every month.

The old cold room IMA found was at least 20 years old and the machinery bodged together with parts found locally. Critically it wasn’t achieving temperature and was running almost 24 hours a day, with only a timer to interrupt the cycle.

As a favour to Luigi’s Complex Ian Nash agreed to have a look at the cold room to help them keep it running until the end of the tourist season; also the new cold room would have to be shipped from the UK so immediate replacement wasn’t viable.

What he found was shocking, the motor was massively oversized and the pipe work was a mess, the system was however working but still not achieving temperature, when the system was opened up it very quickly became apparent why it was achieving temperature, a valve controlling the gas flow was designed for R12 gas, the gas in the machine was R22.

Ian simply replaced this valve and the difference was immediate, the cold room finally achieved temperature and held out until a week before the end of the tourist season. Ian had fixed in 30 minutes what the local technician couldn’t figure out in 6 months.

Specifications for new cold room

The specification was for a cold room that could fit on the footprint of the old one as space was limited, 3 phase, and energy efficient and able to achieve temperature in a tropical climate.

IMA designed and installed a cold room that fulfilled all of these goals. The new cold room fitted on the footprint of the old one, plus a sliding door was installed to allow for easier access in the confined space, with safety man trapped door release for in case anyone ever got locked inside. IMA also install half hour PIR fire safe panels, which are food safe and easy wipe down.

The new condenser uses a 3 phase motor and 2.2 kW when running over the old cold rooms 9 kW. Furthermore the run cycle of the new cold room is roughly only 10 minutes in every hour during operating hours. Most importantly it achieve the set temperature of 2 – 4 C


The running cost of the new cold room are a fifth of what the old one, with a payback time significantly less than 3 years.

The only issue encountered after install was that condensation was created in the cellar below, because of a bad floor IMA fitted an insulating floor to stop this.

Client Testimonial

“We have be burned many times with false promises of possible fixes when dealing with equipment and technicians here in The Gambia. So we were very cautious when IMA promised an end to the cycle of break down and repair. I’m glade to say that after 1 year operation the cold room is running without incident.”

Giovanni Maio, Procurement Manager, Luigi’s Complex