Kremi undertakes retooling at depots to reduce energy cost

Kremi undertakes retooling at depots to reduce energy cost

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 30, 2020

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Ice cream and frozen novelties manufacturers Caribbean Cream Limited (Kremi), in an attempt to reduce its energy consumption cost, has said it will be investing in up to date facilities through a retooling exercise expected to take place across depots.

Speaking at the company's annual general meeting held earlier this week, General Manager Ryan Peralto said that dialogue was currently ongoing with Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) to install a combined heat and power (CHP) plant as the company seeks to save on energy costs.

“Refrigeration is a major energy user for our kind of business in order to maintain a reliable cold chain. So the installation of a liquefied natural gas-fuelled CHP plant will both reduce the company's energy costs — which continue to rise per gallon of output — and our carbon footprint,” he said, noting that this system is to be installed as soon as the company has satisfied all regulatory requirements.

Peralto further said that major replacements were also expected to be carried out at the main cold room facilities, located at South Camp Road, as the company seeks to meet growing demand as well as embark on its fudge production venture.

“We are now working to finalise a new cold room design for installation to begin in the 2021/2022 financial year,” he noted.

In its last financial year the company saw revenues from sales grow to $1.7 billion, up 10 per cent or $153 million on the previous year. Operating cost, however, increased by $127 million or 12 per cent when compared to last year. That, the company said, resulted from increases in the price of raw materials, increased utility cost, rising foreign exchange costs and the marketing of its new novelty line.

“Amid it all, the company has, in the current financial year, proven to be resilient in that during COVID-19 half-year sales grew six per cent to $891 million. This is primarily because of the efficiency of the company's distribution model, which takes the products to the consumer through wholesale depots, household vendors and 'fudgies' — the bicycle and motorcycle vendors,” Peralto said, adding that “during [the pandemic] the demand for Kremi products increased above expectations and thankfully the company was able to sustain the supply of ice cream”.

The company, which currently operates five depots islandwide, has also said it remains on the lookout for new opportunities, with hopes of opening other depots.

“We will, therefore, continue on the strategic path we have started, with the intention to fulfil our objective of continued product innovation and development of plant and infrastructure,” the company outlined in its annual report to shareholders.


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