Home » Customs & Trade » Cold chain operators look at biomass to power reefer facilities

MEMBERS of the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) are eyeing the use of cheaper alternative sources of power for their refrigerated warehouses.

With increasing demand for cold storage capacity, operators need to find another source of power that will reduce costs, CCAP president Anthony Dizon told PortCalls, adding that the savings can be diverted to investments toward building new capacity.

“We are now validating a system offered to us by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) wherein the refrigeration system is not dependent on electricity but on biomass,” Dizon said.

“If it really works, then we can introduce it to our members for consideration… that will definitely answer our clamor for lower power cost,” he explained.

“Biomass is readily available now in the country and its incremental cost to cold chain operators can be easily recoverable.”

A furnace running on biomass designed by Philmech already powers the flatbed dryer for coco coir of the FilCoco processing plant in Alabat, Quezon.

While cold chain operators are currently running on 95% capacity, further growth has been hampered by the high cost of power, Dizon said.

Power costs of cold chain operators now account for 30-35% of overheads from only 20-25% previously. A further rise is expected as electricity rates in the country remain volatile.

Earlier, CCAP explored a power-sharing agreement where operators will voluntarily shut down equipment at certain periods to reduce power demand.

A nationwide power shortage is widely believed to occur in the next two years if government does not find ways to increase power supply.

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