Institution news

Cold chain report continues to make headlines in India

Institution News Team

Tim Fox’s recent press conference in India has helped further the global cold storage debate.

Dr Tim Fox, the Institution’s Head of Energy and Environment, visited West Bengal in December to highlight the issues raised in the Institution’s report A Tank of Cold: Cleantech Leapfrog to a more food secure world, published in June 2014. It is the second time Tim has visited India to put a spotlight on the findings of the report.

The report outlines how the roll out of cold chains is vital to help prevent losses of as much as 40% of fresh food produce in India, to help alleviate hunger and improve global food security. 

Tim’s press conference and meetings, in Kolkata, last month, focused on ways in which India can sustainably develop its cold storage and refrigerated transport capability for perishable food and produce. The visit also received widespread media coverage.



The visit coincided with publicity surrounding Prime Minister Modi’s launch of his ‘Make in India’ campaign. Tim outlined how technology for sustainable cold storage and refrigerated transport under development in the UK could be manufactured and deployed in India, with a particular focus on road and rail applications.

Quoted by IANS (Indo Asian News Service) on Yahoo News, Tim stated: "We have been doing some feasibility studies in India with the national government and we are looking now to do similar things in West Bengal and other states.”

The report and press briefing was also covered in Business Standard, and by the following media outlets:
  • Smart Investor
  • Yahoo News
  • Kolkata News
  • DaijiWorld
  • Sify
  • India InfoLine
  • Fnbnews
  • Entrepreneur India
  • Web India 123
  • Pro Kerala
  • Chennai Online
  • Pocket News Alert
  • Nerve.in
  • Sf Indian
  • Orient Publication
Tim commented: “During my previous visit [to India to launch the report] last July we gained significant traction with the National Government in Delhi, as well as industrialists and academics both there and in Chennai, Mumbai and Pune, developing interest in the ideas and thinking presented in our report. Indeed, the government has subsequently engaged further with the concept by initially exploring the feasibility of the proposals we made for re-use of waste cold from LNG regasification plants.

“This latest trip was targeted at Kolkata as West Bengal is a significant player in the Indian agriculture and food supply sectors, as well as being a well-established engineering centre for rail and other infrastructure. I am pleased to say that the meetings I had with the Government of West Bengal, as well as with various industrialists in the state, were very successful. They have catalysed action towards further feasibility studies related to both road and rail applications.”

He added: “It is most satisfying to see the intellectual leadership of the Institution being followed so strongly in response to our report.”

India’s investment in cold chains is forecast to be $15 billion over the next five years. In order to ensure this investment is sustainable and cost effective in the long as well as short term, it must focus on delivering these cold chains using renewable energy sources in combination with environmentally friendly refrigeration techniques.

Tim said: “Renewable energy resources are available in abundance in India. The key to unlocking sustainable cold chains is to develop technology that can either use these directly, such as cooling through solar-driven absorption, or to power existing or new technologies through local electricity generation supplied in off-grid or micro-grid applications. The Indian electricity grid is unreliable and extremely inefficient, it loses 30% of its power during transmission on average, compared to about 6% in the UK.”

As of 2012, India had approximately 6,300 cold storage facilities, with a capacity of 30.11 million metric tonnes. Approximately 60 per cent of these facilities are located in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Punjab. 

The Institution, which already has 2,000 professional members in India, is focusing on India as a key country for membership growth and engagement. Visit Near You or email global@imeche.org to find out how to get involved with the Institution in your area.

Read the full report A Tank of Cold: Cleantech Leapfrog to a more food secure world
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