28 May 2020
Case Study: South African fruit packing company implements CaaS

By outsourcing its cooling system, Afrupro could upgrade its unreliable, aging refrigeration system without any capital costs, improving efficiencies and lowering energy consumption by 20%.


The Cooling as a Service Concept

CaaS involves building and business owners paying for the cooling service instead of investing in the infrastructure that delivers the cooling. The technology provider owns the cooling system, maintains it, and covers all operational costs including electricity.

The periodic payments made by the customer are fixed-cost-per-unit and based on metered usage, whereby the client does not bear any risk related to the performance of the cooling equipment and the technology provider has the incentive to install the equipment offering the lowest life cycle cost to make the service more cost-effective.

The clients benefit from high quality cooling at better prices, and don’t need to distract any budget to acquire the system. Technology providers benefit from a continuous income stream and can establish long-term relationships with their clients.


Afrupro Case Study

Energy Partners enabled the South African fruit packaging company Afrupo to upgrade to a more reliable, cost-efficient and energy-efficient refrigeration system, offered through 10-year Cooling as a Service contract. The cooling plant operates with ammonia, a natural refrigerant with zero Global Warming Potential.


The need

Afrupro, a South African fruit packing company, was experiencing consistent problems with its existing industrial ammonia plant. The cold rooms were operating above required temperature specifications and the glycol tanks were leaking. This resulted in rising maintenance and electricity costs compounded by expensive product losses. Their upfront request was to replace the problematic plant with a new higher-GWP R407F multiplex system due to the poor temperature stability.


The solution

Following a thorough evaluation, Energy Partners Refrigeration proposed an outsourced cooling solution (financed, owned and optimised by Energy Partners). This involved an upgraded ammonia plant to provide better, more reliable cost-efficient cooling. The upgrade involved the installation of a new liquid receiver (including valves and instrumentation) and new stainless-steel glycol tanks. Existing mechanical controls were replaced with a new computerised control system with remote monitoring capabilities and a full re-commissioning process commenced. This was all financed through a Cooling as a Service (CaaS) agreement, with no upfront cost to the client.



  • CaaS contract structure saved Afrupro R3.7m (USD200,000) in additional capital expenditure.
  • Total project CO2 emissions avoidance of 425 tons annually or 4,250 tons over the contract period.
  • Cold rooms running efficiently with 20% lower energy cost.
  • Elimination of unnecessary maintenance costs.
  • Stabilised temperature management and elimination of product losses or re-cooling costs. • Guaranteed uptime with 24-hour monitoring.
  • Improved business focus: Afrupro allowed to focus on packing and shipping fruit while EP guarantees the cooling.
  • Ability to plan for the cost of the cooling required.


Source: https://www.caas-initiative.org/news/case-study-south-african-fruit-packing-company-implements-caas/

Cover photo: http://afrupro.co.za

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