Pioneer Flower Farms was founded in 1971 in St Catherines, Ontario, Canada. Being a son of a Dutch flower bulb grower, Henk Sikking Jr decided to try his luck elsewhere. And he succeeded well: the farm is now one of the largest with a production of more than 40 million bulbs yearly. Henk manages the company with his two sons.
Disaster struck when a large fire destroyed the facilities in the summer of 2019. Since then Pioneer cooperates with consultant Agro Focus to renew as quickly as possible. For the storage part, the company turned to Geerlofs Refrigeration. Having experience in the field of bulbs since tens of years, Geerlofs was evaluated to be the ideal partner.
Two complete ammonia chillers will be assembled, tested and certified in two 40ft container machine rooms in the factory in The Netherlands. These will be shipped as ready to work machine rooms to the farm. Locally on each container a cooling tower will be mounted. The 31 cold stores will get their cooling capacity from these two machines offering close to 1800 kW capacity.
The package also involves heat recovery, among others to enable to heat the cold storages as well. The well-known Gispro®, Geerlofs Intelligent Storage Processor, will as usual control the entire system. This PLC control is accessible remotely and thus offers support from Dutch engineers. Commissioning will take place in four phases, starting in October 2020.