Somerville, Mass. and Colombo, Sri Lanka – Promethean Power Systems and Fonterra, the dairy co-operative behind Anchor milk brand, have partnered to introduce a new rapid milk chilling technology that will drastically improve the quality of Sri Lankan milk.
In just a matter of seconds, Promethean Power Systems’ rapid chillers chill the milk that the farmers deliver to their local collection centers. The technology—the first of its kind—uses an innovative thermal energy storage device to overcome limited and sometimes unreliable electricity supply in rural areas.
The milk chiller is being piloted at Fonterra’s milk collection center in Doluwa, with plans to roll out the technology across Fonterra’s milk collection network across Sri Lanka.
Fonterra milk collection personnel inspect milk before rapidly chilling it to preserve its freshness and quality. Photo: Promethean
Mr. Saman Perera, Fonterra’s Dairy Development Programme Manager, said: “Fonterra is committed to working with Sri Lankan dairy farmers to improve milk quality and increase local supply, however Sri Lanka’s hot climate and low milk density means that getting milk quickly to the right temperature can be a challenge.”
“An important part of our efforts to improve milk quality is using refrigeration systems that can chill milk in a cost-effective and safe way closer to the rural dairy farmers who supply it. This helps to reduce milk waste in the supply chain, and creates more value for our farmers,” said Mr. Perera.
Promethean Power Systems manufactures a range of milk chillers which are quickly being adopted in other countries, such as India, because of their ability to chill the milk rapidly to four degrees Celsius using limited grid power. Promethean’s innovation is centered on a thermal battery designed specifically for refrigeration applications in rural areas. “The thermal battery serves a dual purpose: it provides backup for the unreliable grid and it releases thermal energy quickly to rapidly chill the milk and preserve its quality”, said Mr. Sorin Grama, Promethean’s co-founder and principal inventor of the technology.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, conducted a search for global technologies suitable for village-level cooling in the dairy sector. It found that Promethean Power Systems’ milk chilling technology could provide a viable solution. This research led to the Fonterra-Promethean partnership to install the first rapid milk chiller of its kind in Sri Lanka.
“Introducing cooling systems at the village level can both improve the quality of milk and increase the quantity of available milk,” said Amena Arif, IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives.
“This partnership will improve the livelihoods of thousands of dairy farmers, and increase the availability of fresh milk in Sri Lanka.”
The Fonterra and Promethean teams celebrate their partnership. Photo: Promethean
Promethean Power Systems is a privately-held technology company that develops and manufactures complete refrigeration systems for agricultural cold-chain in developing countries. The company is headquartered in Somerville, MA at Greentown Labs, the country’s largest cleantech incubator, manufactures the technology in Pune, India and exports it throughout Southeast Asia. To learn more about Promethean Power Systems and its rapid milk chilling technology, please visit www.promethean-power.com, connect with Promethean Power Systems on Twitter or contact Sorin Grama at (+1) 617 230 7715.
For over 38 years, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka has provided Sri Lankans with high quality dairy nutrition through a range of products, including Anchor which generations of Sri Lankan’s have grown up drinking. As a dairy cooperative owned by over 10,500 New Zealand farmers, Fonterra is also focused on sharing its expertise locally to help fuel the health of Sri Lanka. Today Fonterra operates two manufacturing sites and employs around 750 staff in Sri Lanka. For more information, visit www.fonterra.com.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.