Cold Link Africa July/August 2019 | Page 16

PROJECT INCORPORATING COLD CHAIN Continued from page 1 Imperial Logistics’ healthcare business invests in its cold chain I mperial Logistics’ healthcare business stores medical supplies for southern Africa, with a network of cold storage facilities extending as far as Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria. This particular facility is an operational hub, storing the lion’s share of goods including everything from run-of-the-mill medication, right up to extremely high- value vaccines. As Imperial Logistics’ healthcare business grew, so did its need for bigger facilities. The refrigeration part of the project happened in two phases with Phase 1 being a brand new cold room, airlock, loading cold room as well as a freezer. This part of the project commenced in February 2018 with initial demolition of an existing warehouse. Phase 1 was completed within schedule to be commissioned on 30 April, taking a mere three months from the demolition starting to the commissioning of the new cold rooms. It is an amazing feat that Abbeydale, as the developer, managed to get all the different stakeholders to come together and finish the project without any major delays on such an ambitious timeline. Phase 2 kicked off in June 2018, a month after the completion of Phase 1. This phase of the project involved the demolition of an existing 1 500m² cold store (6.5m high), plant and warehouse structure and then the reinstallation of a 1 2 new warehouse structure plus a series of cold rooms. The new structure was similar to the old one, except that the height was increased from 6.5m to 14.5m high. This phase was completed five months later with commissioning and handover taking place by the end of October 2018. Thanks to the great teamwork, all timelines were achieved, even though most contractors initially thought it was an insurmountable task. CLIENT BRIEF Imperial Logistics has a long history in cold chain management and has run facilities like this successfully for many years. As such, Lara Haigh, the managing director of the South African healthcare business, and her team were very knowledgeable and specific about what they wanted. Of critical importance was ensuring total cold chain integrity, as the value of product in these rooms is quite significant and losses have to be prevented at all costs. Another important consideration was the standards to which the client must adhere for achieving the desired certification, which are extremely stringent. As such, all holding rooms are completely self-sustainable, with standalone systems in place. An added feature to reduce turnaround times on breakdowns was that the large cold rooms all have the same model of compressor in their various condensing units and there is a spare compressor on site at all times. 3 1. Door from cold room to airlock, complete with strip curtains. 2. Entrance to airlock from parking lot. 3. Remote boards for each room tying into plant alarms. 4. Plant room mezzanine level with a view on condensing units. 4 16 COLD LINK AFRICA • July/August 2019