Here’s wishing all our readers a wonderful new financial year, especially with GST poised to be implemented in the near future and promising to cut through the maze of a large number of taxes, bringing in uniform taxation. This move should benefit not just the industry, but the country as a whole and weed out the aberrations owing to differences in local and inter-state transactions. As we move into the new financial year, as we had mentioned in the last issue, the good news is that 101 new cold chain projects have been approved by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) for financial assistance as per the applicable norms for up to Rs. 10 crore per project. The modalities would vary depending on the cost structure of the project, its location (difficult areas get larger assistance), the proposed equipment and elements of the cold chain, etc. The interesting part of the scheme is that it would effectively mean close to Rs. 3,100 crore being pumped into the market over the next couple of years. This would also mean creation of 2.76 lakh tons of cold storage and controlled or modified atmosphere storage along with the corresponding processing lines such as IQFs, blast freezers, food processing lines, milk processing lines, etc. We are urging the government to bring in sustainability as a key requirement in upcoming projects. Taking the link on sustainability to a slightly different level, we want to take the readers to an innovative and sustainable project in Australia. It is a farm producing tomatoes and the entire project uses energy from the sun to convert saline water from the sea into water that is used to water the plants, and the heat is used to heat up the greenhouse and run turbines for producing electricity. It is a very novel concept since the land on which the project is set up was practically wasteland and there was no other activity going on there. The project involves a huge area with mirrors that concentrate solar energy on to a receptor, which generates almost 39 MW of thermal energy out of solar reflectors alone. This is really a sustainable project since there is practically no need to draw power from the grid. Of course, they do not claim to be off-grid since there are times when they need grid support. However, thinking of and executing such concepts is the need of the hour. The company supplies thousands of tons of tomatoes to a major retailer. This is an out-of-the-box sustainable idea! ACREX 2017, in terms of the total area covered by companies in the Refrigeration and Cold Chain sector, crossed 2,000 sqm. This is a first for ACREX. Considering this, the target for the next year will be higher, and the ISHRAE team at Bengaluru is gearing up for a much bigger show in terms of bookings as well as visitors. IIAR had its convention at San Antonio this year, immediately after ACREX. Harshal Surange was a speaker at the seminar there and gave a talk on Essentials of a Green Cold Chain. The talk was well received by the audience. The seminar had many other interesting topics such as Applying NH3 Design Principles to CO2 Systems, and Assessment of Lubricants for Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide Refrigeration Systems. These seminars take place in a very timely manner and are typically well attended. By the time this issue reaches your hands in April, China Refrigeration would have been held. Delhi Chapter of ISHRAE (DCI) has planned to send a delegation to China Refrigeration, as several times in the past. There is an ASHRAE Fisheries Conference in Bangkok in April, and Arvind Surange has been invited as a speaker. It is time to pull up our socks and get ready for the new wave of sustainable cold chain projects with an eye on the future.
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