Media

Goulburn Valley fruit supplier slices costs with cutting edge innovation

28 January 2015


Leading apple and pear supplier, Radevski Coolstores in the Goulburn Valley, will boost its operations and cut its overall energy costs by a quarter, by installing solar PV and a state-of-the-art fruit grader financed through Commonwealth Bank and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Energy Efficient Loan (EEL) product.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said he was pleased Goulburn Valley-based Radevski Coolstores was building on savings already gained through a refrigeration upgrade in 2013 to make further investment in efficient, cleaner energy upgrades which would significantly increase efficiency and lower the firm's carbon footprint.

"It is good to see forward-looking businesses like Radevski deploying Commonwealth Bank and CEFC Energy Efficient Loan finance to help retain their competitive position. The program is working with businesses to assist them "unpack" the value of  investment in new energy efficient equipment, to realise the full potential of improved productivity and cuts to energy and operational costs, water use and maintenance," he said.

General Manager Peter Radevski said the new equipment would increase the energy productivity and competitiveness of Radevski Coolstores while accelerating them towards a long-term industry goal to reduce their carbon footprint.

"This will help us achieve a better way to grade, store and package our fruit and will help us remain at the forefront of technology and ensure our long-term viability in what is a competitive market," he said.

The new up to 100 KW solar PV system will provide around 12 per cent of energy needs and with the addition of the new grader, Radevski Coolstores is expected to reduce its overall energy bill by around 25 per cent. Savings are expected through reduced energy use, reduced reliance on town water, the ability to store fruit at a slightly higher temperature and reduced packaging needs.

The family's energy efficiency drive extends past the Energy Efficient Loan financed projects to include LED lighting in the new fruit grader shed and the installation of a variable speed drive at one of the irrigation pump sites which will deliver pump energy savings of around 25 per cent. This is in addition to the new ammonia-based refrigeration system already financed through the Energy Efficient Loan in 2013 which has reduced by about one quarter the refrigeration energy use and carbon emissions for the business's 16 cool rooms.

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About Radevski Coolstores Pty Ltd

Radevski Coolstores is a family business that has been operating in the Goulburn Valley in Victoria for more than 50 years. Three generations of Radevski family are involved in the operation of two large cool store complexes with capacity of around 20,000 bins of storage.

They own about 185 hectares of close planting orchards of predominantly apples and pears in the Shepparton East district and are direct suppliers to Coles supermarkets.

About the Energy Efficient Loan

The Commonwealth Bank and CEFC are each providing $50 million towards the $100 million Energy Efficient Loan program which is designed to help businesses, particularly those from the manufacturing sector, upgrade equipment to reduce energy costs. The tailored loans are typically for amounts over $500,000 and can be used to finance up to 100 per cent of the purchase price, allowing businesses to preserve working capital for other purposes. Projects seeking finance are assessed against CEFC project eligibility criteria for renewables, low emissions and energy efficiency technologies.