Power interruptions affect the entire food supply chain – from primary production to the delivery of goods to consumers. Farmers are highly dependent on electricity for irrigation, livestock care and harvesting. Food processing plants rely on electricity to run their machinery and keep procedures thorough and safe. Food storage facilities depend on power to maintain the correct temperature in their stock rooms. Groceries and supermarkets have to continuously run freezers and chillers to keep food items safe for public consumption.
Food manufacturing and processing entities declare that the foremost challenge in this whole scheme of electricity supply inadequacy is the uncertainty around the schedule of load shedding. The unpredictability of when the power will go out makes it difficult for companies to schedule their operations around the outages. As food processing and manufacturing facilities cannot afford to shut down operations during blackouts or halt production processes once they have been started, a sudden loss of electricity and stoppage in production often result in million upon millions of wasted raw materials and discarded half-finished products. Not to mention that there are also processes that are completely dependent on biorhythms of animals, like milking or laying eggs – these cannot be scheduled around load shedding timings.
Let’s quickly look at the processing of fresh milk as an illustration. Once the milk is in a silo, it has to be treated, cooled and transported to a dairy plant for processing. It has to be kept at the perfect temperature, and then processed through various heating and cooling stages. This being so, a milk processing plant needs electricity 24/7, or it runs the risk of discarding unfinished products or producing unsafe goods. Either way, the financial and opportunity losses can amount to several millions.
The unwanted effects of power outages spill over post-harvest. Once food items have been processed and finalized for distribution, they have to be carefully stored at the precise temperature so their quality does not deteriorate and their safety is ensured. If, at any point, such a process is disrupted by temperature abuse, the products lose value or, worse, thrown away due to safety concerns.
Some food processing facilities have attempted to work around the problem by employing solar or wind energy facilities within their sites, but later on found out that such power sources were not always able to sufficiently produce for a huge production load.
While renewable energy sources are excellent options to support conventional power sources, they can become more viable if integrated with standby power generation systems, like rental power plants. Temporary power plants can help plug in the gap in electricity supply in instances when solar or wind power facilities inadequately produce. Rental power stations have been configured to generate at all times the exact amount of electricity as needed, and can be ramped up or scaled down depending on the requirement of the minute.
Food processing and manufacturing facilities may also find benefits in renting power plants during seasons of peak production. During months of increased demand for food products, food processing and manufacturing facilities cannot afford to limit or suspend production just because there is insufficient power, or they will lose huge economic opportunities to grow their business and expand their customer base. During such times, rental power plants can ensure the continuous supply of electricity for uninterrupted operations.
Large-scale temporary power plants can supply reliable electricity to large food processing, manufacturing and storage facilities all over the world. They are easily installed and commissioned, and can be quickly decommissioned as desired. Constructing rental power plants will not disrupt operations, as they are containerized and configured for plug-and-play installation.
As building temporary power plants do not require a large capital expenditure, food processing and manufacturing facilities will be able to pay for the electricity as they go, and not spend scarce Dollars on infrastructure construction and maintenance.
By employing fast-track, reliable and sustainable alternative sources of electricity, like rental power plants, food processing and manufacturing companies can ensure the health, safety and loyalty of the people that patronize their products.
In the next article, we will discuss how load shedding affects the pharmaceutical industry and how rental power plants can ensure the safety and efficacy of medicines and other pharmaceutical products.
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