For CA cold storage facility

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Oct. 3

The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has tied up with the Mumbai-based RT Group to set up, what is claimed to be, the country's first-ever Controlled Atmosphere (CA) cold storage facility at Kundli, near Delhi.


The 21,000 cubic meters facility set up at a cost of Rs 40 crore, has the capacity to store 5,000 tonnes. "Our idea is to expand it to 30,000 tonnes, which will eventually entail an investment of around Rs 300 crore," said Mr Rashmi Bhimjyani, Managing Director of Central Warehousing Cold Chain (Pvt) Ltd, the joint venture in which CWC holds 26 per cent and the RT Group the majority 74 per cent.

Mr Bhimjyani said that the CA technology was superior to conventional cold storage, which merely involves controlling temperatures. "Here, we will be able to control not just temperatures, but even humidity and other atmospheric elements like oxygen, carbon-dioxide, nitrogen and ethylene. These would substantially increase shelf life and reduce product wastage," he said.


The facility will further have 42 separate chambers that can be assigned to individual clients, who can independently store their products without risking contamination from other goods. "The cost of storage will work out to Rs 1.50-2 per kg per month for apples," according to Mr Bhimjyani. Besides CA storage, the facility is also equipped with cleaning and grading equipment for fruits and vegetables, fruit ripening chambers and forklifts for loading and unloading cargo.

"We are very strategically located on the GT Karnal road, just 20 km from Delhi's Azadpur subzi mandi. We are tying up with the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and J&K Bank for warehouse receipts financing and also with State-owned horticulture companies, such as HPMC," he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 4, 2006)
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