“With Barpro’s extensive track record of previous such projects, we had absolute confidence that the facility would be up and running on schedule. They did not let us down”James Cunningham, Managing Director, Barpro Storage SA (Pty) Ltd
In 2015 Capespan Group continued its recent burst of growth with the acquisition of a modern new pack house on the banks of the Berg River in Paarl, Western Cape, as well as sizeable new apple and pear farms.
Novo Packhouse, the state-of-the-art Topfruit packing facility opened in Paarl in 2009 was previously owned by Colors Fruit, and will allow its new owners to handle much of the abundant fruit harvest of the region including farms in nearby Ceres, Villiersdorp, Piketberg, Grabouw and the Boland.
According to Capespan, the centre was already equipped with modern packing technology and storage, but this would not meet the needs of the extended operation, with increased volumes from their own farms as well as several independent growers. The decision was made to greatly expand the facility with new CA rooms and holding rooms. Additional new pre-cooling tunnels will be added in later. The expanded facility will now cater for the cooling, packing, holding, and export of apples and pears; but also the packing of other fruit – stone-fruits, grapes, etc. – with a total packing capacity of up to 120,000 bins a year.
The existing pre-cooling ‘pull-down’ tunnels have a capacity of 560 pallets, and the new tunnels planned will increase this capacity to 800/900 pallets, while the new C.A. (controlled atmosphere) rooms for long-term storage can handle up to 26,000 bins. New holding rooms have added 1600 pallets (2000 tonnes) of fruit to the 600 pallets already accommodated in the previous facilities.
Storax mobile racking was the system of choice for the new holding rooms. Novo Project Engineer Henco Smit comments. “Mobile racking working with Barpro SA was a no-brainer really. 1600 pallets, all of which are individually accessible, in rooms that would have otherwise carried not much more than half this number. With Barpro’s extensive track record of previous such projects, we had absolute confidence that the facility would be up and running on schedule. They did not let us down.”
The project was successfully completed in the early part of the year, ready in time for the 2016 harvest.