Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

September 10, 2009 11:16 ET

SDTC, Sunwell and Loblaw Companies Reducing Environmental Footprint of Food Transportation and Storage

WOODBRIDGE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2009) - A clean technology project that could potentially reduce the environmental impacts of the transportation and storage of perishable goods received significant funding today.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has awarded Woodbridge, Ontario's Sunwell Technologies Inc. up to $2.86M in funding for the development and demonstration of its Thermo Battery system for transportation applications, which will be tested by Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw).

"By investing in clean energy technologies our Government is helping to stimulate our economy, creating jobs and helping to protect the environment," said Minister Raitt. "This venture will compliment our Economic Action Plan initiatives and encourage the development of new technologies that will foster a healthy, cleaner and more prosperous Canada."

"As the food industry, a significant sector of the Canadian economy, looks at ways of reducing the environmental footprint of the transportation of goods, it will need to turn to innovative technologies such as the Thermo Battery system," said SDTC President and CEO Vicky Sharpe. "Sunwell's technology is a simple, innovative technology that could be widely adopted by grocers and distributors across the country, helping them to reduce both their energy consumption and their operating costs."

Sunwell's project aims to develop and demonstrate the Deepchill-Thermo Battery systems for the refrigerated transportation of perishable products in truck containers, rail containers and trolleys. Thermo Batteries are versatile rechargeable cooling batteries containing ice slurry which can be used to meet the entire refrigeration needs of grocers and food distributors from warehouse storage, to transportation for distribution. The Thermo Batteries will allow the elimination of diesel gensets, dedicated fuel tanks and cooling coils and related environmentally hazardous gases from existing refrigerated transport fleets, therefore greatly reducing the cost and environmental footprint of industrial refrigerated transportation.

Partnering with the SDTC provided the both crucial financial support and government recognition the Deepchill Thermo Battery Demonstration required to go ahead. The SDTC's program structure encouraged Sunwell to form a consortium with the key players in the refrigerated transportation market whose support and expertise is crucial to the long term success and marketing of the Deepchill Thermo Battery.

One of the first pre-commercial Deepchill-Thermo Battery system demonstrations will take place at Loblaw's central Ontario warehousing facility in Cambridge, Ontario, where Deepchill Charging Stations will quickly and efficiently charge the Thermo Battery panels with Deepchill ice slurry. The demonstration aims to provide long-term cooling by passive non-mechanical refrigeration and natural convection while providing higher humidity and a consistent lower temperature increasing the freshness of perishable foods.

"Respect for the environment is one of Loblaw's key social responsibility pillars that govern the way Loblaw conducts business," said Mark Schembri, Vice President, Store Maintenance, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We are excited about the opportunity this project could demonstrate in terms of efficiency improvements both in the transport of our perishable products and the use of the electricity system. By generating ice overnight the technology will reduce our energy costs through the use of inexpensive off peak electricity generation and greatly reduce our carbon footprint."

The SDTC funding for Sunwell's project will be leveraged with funding from members of its consortium of Canadian and international players including: CANMET, Colruyt, Joint Stock Company Roskommunenergo and Open Joint Stock Company Refservice.

About SDTC

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm's-length foundation created by the Government of Canada which has received $1.05 billion as part of the Government's commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $550 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation and has been working with the public and private sector including industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the financial community and all levels of government to achieve this mandate. For more information, please visit www.sdtc.ca.

About Sunwell

Sunwell Technologies pioneered and is the global leader in the field of ice slurry production, storage and distribution systems. Founded in Canada in 1978, Sunwell holds numerous worldwide patents and has it's innovative Deepchill Systems in over 30 countries. Deepchill Technology has received numerous world wide technological and environmental awards including the 2004 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Bell Innovation Technology Award. Sunwell currently has operating facilities in both Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada and in Osaka, Japan through its subsidiary Sunwell Japan Corporation. For more information please visit www.sunwell.com

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh Style® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

Contact Information

  • Sunwell Technologies Inc.
    Simon Goldstein
    Vice President, Business Development
    905-856-0400 x 225
    sgoldstein@sunwell.com
    or
    Loblaw Companies Limited
    Karen Gumbs
    Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs
    905-459-2500 ext. 616041
    karen.gumbs@loblaw.ca
    or
    SDTC
    Patrice Breton
    Director, Communications
    613-234-6313 x 295
    media@sdtc.ca