New site cuts energy consumption by 15 per cent with innovativen energy storage system during off peak hours.
SDF Iberica, a subsidiary of European cold chain logistics firm STEF-TFE, has opened a 162,535 sq ft fresh and frozen food facility in Torrejon near Madrid – its largest hub site in Spain.
STEF-TFE, which is headquartered in France, has invested 23 million euros into the SDF Madrid facility, which offers 116,000 cubic metres of temperature-controlled storage, making it the largest real estate investment in the group’s history.
SDF has 24 multi-temperature platforms in the Iberian Peninsula, with a total capacity of 960,000 cubed metres of storage, including five in the Madrid region. The group has operated in Spain since 1989 when it created SDF Iberica. Its clients include retailers Carrefour and Dia and brands such as Nestle and Unilever.
SDF Madrid is a multi-product, multi-temperature, multi-client site, offering a range of transport, logistics and IT services.
The new facility includes three sections: two refrigerated rooms and a deep freeze.
The first 12.5m high, refrigerated room is set at two degrees Celsius and offers 47,000 cubed metres of storage including 8,900 pallet spaces, while the second is 14m high and features a 5,750 cubed metre loading wharf for refrigerated goods for cross-docking with 40 gates. All docks have two cameras that survey the circumference so SDF can quickly identify any flow problems.
The room is currently only being used up to six metres but a mobile ceiling has been installed, which can be moved up to offer extra storage room.
The final room is a 27,000 sq ft deep freeze which is set at minus 27 degrees Celsius. The 13.5m high room features mobile racks across half the space, and four mezzanine levels in the other half. Each mezzanine pillar can support 73 tonnes.
Angel Lecanda, chief executive of SDF in Spain, says: “Land prices are four to five times higher in Spain than France so we have had to use mezzanines to make the most of the space.”
The platform has been built with sustainability at the forefront, including a number of features to optimise energy.
It uses a system for storing energy which can be returned over a six to eight hour period, allowing the company to reduce its reliance on the electrical grid during peak hours. In doing so, SDF expects to make savings of at least 15 per cent.
It is based on a system of eutectic nodules which can give back 300kw of cold air under minus 12 degrees Celsius, providing 25 per cent of the energy needed to refrigerate this section of the site.
STEF-TFE claims this is a first in industrial refrigeration and if successful the system will be rolled out to other sites.
The facility also features refrigerants which are designed to minimise the impact on global warming, and LED lighting in the deep freeze to reduce energy consumption.
False ceiling air flows in deep freezing rooms have been installed to reduce noise and eliminate draughts, and there are now low-speed ventilators in medium temperature refrigerated areas to reduce noise.
The company has also seen a 15 per cent improvement in visibility by using grey racking instead of blue, as grey reflects the light rather than absorbing it, helping to reduce accidents.
Jean-Charles Fromage, chief operating officer and managing director of STEF-TFE, says: “We strongly believe in Madrid. We have six sites here and have purchased an eight hectare plot of land close by so it will be seven. I can’t say what we will do with it yet. The plan will evolve many times.”