How this food transport company kept its cool
“We’ll be able to generate more of our own energy, bringing down our power bills while drastically reducing our carbon emissions.” Vince Cordoma, owner LRT/VCT Transport.
Food transport companies aren’t particularly energy efficient. There are huge storage facilities to maintain, cool rooms set to different temperatures and refrigerated trucks, making electricity expensive. So when Vince Cordoma, owner of leading Australian transportation company LRT/VCT Transport and ANZ business customer, approached us about getting finance to help switch to a more energy efficient onsite refrigeration system, we were happy to help.
LRT/VCT Transport is a fourth generation family-run business, who has been operating since 1977. It’s gone from a fleet of just two trucks to more than 35 prime movers and 75 trailers, with operational facilities in Robinvale on the NSW-VIC border, and Irymple just near Mildura.
Supplying produce all across Australia
“We store all the goods here,” Vince explains, referring to the huge amounts of locally grown fruits and vegetables that are supplied to distribution centres for supermarket chains throughout Australia and internationally. “We’re opening up our export markets all over the world, with produce grown in the area,” he says.
ANZ Agribusiness manager Paul Connor has had a long-standing relationship with Vince. “It’s been a generational relationship,” Paul says. “Over time I’ve worked with Vince’s parents, uncles, the whole family. We’ve been working with them to fund their requirements and look at some options, to fit their changing needs.”
Making the switch to an energy efficient solution
Vince and his team tossed around the idea of switching to solar. While costly upfront, they saw it would pay for itself and has tremendous environmental appeal.
“One of our biggest costs is electricity, so using solar is very beneficial for us,” Vince says.
Vince says the Irymple site can store up to 3,500 pallets and is divided into three main rooms. One room runs at 2 degrees, another ambient room is set to 12 degrees, while the export room runs a low -0.5 to zero degrees.
In addition, LRT/VCT Transport has installed a 99.5kW rooftop solar system, and is intending to add another 260kW of panels to the site. “This means we’ll be able to generate more of our own energy, bringing down our power bills while drastically reducing our carbon emissions,” Vince says.
A 950-tonne energy efficient refrigeration system has also been installed, along with a new washing system for the trucks, which has resulted in savings of around 700 litres of water for each vehicle. The entire transport fleet water usage has dropped by a remarkable 80 per cent.
How ANZ was able to assist
ANZ has partnered with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to help Australian businesses cut their energy costs and reduce their carbon emissions by making the switch to climate-friendly solutions. It’s a win/win, as businesses receive support to make innovative and cost-effective changes to their daily operations while stepping into the renewable energy space.
ANZ financed most of the building infrastructure at the company’s Irymple site, and has also assisted in funding the development of the cool rooms. This is where the bulk of the savings have come in for Vince. “The asset financing we’ve received from ANZ has helped free up some of our cash flow to use in other areas of our operations.
“ANZ has supported us to go green, to try solar, and to investigate what other gases are around to use as refrigerant,” he says.
Looking to the future
Paul says there are a number of financial options for clients looking to upgrade their technology and equipment. “It’s the way of the future,” he says.
Vince agrees and says the decision was for the long-term. “We want to prepare ourselves not just for today and tomorrow, but for the next 10 to 15 years, for the second generation.”
Everyone has a role to play to reduce carbon emissions, and the benefits of investing in green energy are plentiful, with the biggest being lower power bills. “It’s exciting to see businesses like Vince’s leading the way in the renewable energy space, and with some help from us, investing in energy efficient solutions,” says Paul.