Solar system enhances efficiency of Pakistani food company




August 26, 2015


2:45 pm


meeco’s sun2live rooftop installation supports work processes of Seasons Foods (Pvt) Ltd.

For years the occasionally strong growing economic development of Pakistan is falling well short of expectations. In comparison to other emerging countries the economic growth (4,1 percent in 2014, source: GIZ) continues to languish at a lower level. There are several reasons encouraging this weak development. One of the most urgent issues is the ongoing energy crisis containing energy shortages, which often lead to power cuts plunging the country into darkness.

Power outage was also one of the recurring daily obstacles of Pakistan’s leading meat manufacturer Seasons Foods (Pvt) Ltd., which primarily operates in the business of chicken processing and the creation of high quality fresh and frozen products. Moreover, the company is part of Seasons Group having subsidiaries in Flour Milling, Poultry & Cattle Feed, Edible Oil Extraction, Breeder & Broiler Farms and Hatcheries. To increase its efficiency and avoid power cuts Seasons Foods decided for a solar power solution provided by the Swiss-based clean energy supplier The meeco Group through one of its joint venture companies, oursun Solar Power Ltd, located in Pakistan.


ThemeecoGroup_1blog Read more about the Seasons Foods project…


Since 2008, meeco takes up the challenge to bring German-engineered solar energy technologies to Pakistan in order to support the sustainable development of the country. By providing its customized solar turnkey solutions to home owners and to industrial as well as commercial enterprises, meeco contributes to solve the daily issues of Pakistani companies, such as Seasons Foods. A Power Purchase Agreement is tying the meat manufacturer and the clean energy provider for six years now and became the essence of a strong and lasting partnership.

The Power Purchase Agreement was initially aiming at the construction of a 400 kWp sun2live rooftop installation from which 350 kWp are already installed. Seasons Foods has announced its wish to extend the contract to 700 kWp. In the following interview the current director of Seasons Foods, Salman Tariq, will talk about his experiences regarding the meeco solar solution and explains how the system has changed work processes and daily routine of Seasons Foods employees.


CountryPage1 Discover The meeco Group joint venture in Pakistan…


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Rooftop PV project during the installation process


Mr. Tariq, solar energy is a sustainable power supply. Beyond, it provides companies with many benefits. Which individual reasons did Season Foods convince and encourage to install a solar system on its roof?

Before the completion of the sun2live rooftop system, we were facing numerous problems regarding the energy supply. Among them, one of the most serious issues has been the regular power outage, which have caused grave production losses. Consequently, we were obligated to maintain multiple backup generators in case of power failures. Moreover, due to electricity fluctuations and voltage problems, our equipment and our machines wore, which in turn, entailed financial burdens. In addition to it, we had to deal with high electricity and fuel charges.


To get a better insight: Could you describe a usual business day before the sun2live rooftop system was installed?

On an average, we used to have power outages from 10 pm in the evening to 8 am in the morning. Therefore, backup generators should ensure the energy supply. Nevertheless, our production was delayed since our generators were underpowered and hence didn’t accomplish to cater to our complete electricity load. At times, we were forced to shut down full divisions since we did not have enough power. Furthermore, power outages came unscheduled and thus unexpected during the day. This had a grave negative impact on our production capacity as a lot of products had to be wasted due to unpredictable machine breakdowns. If we had not switched to solar energy by choosing meeco’s turnkey solution, we would have had to increase our electricity sanction load from the government and also invest in bigger generators. This process would have been much more complicated and costly. Thus, we decided for the solar solution from meeco as on top of this, the team conceived our needs and goals straightaway.


Have you been satisfied with the result?
Did the solar installation solve the indicated problems?

To cover our rising power consumption, we would have had to apply for an extension of our power load from the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), which, as I already mentioned, is quite a time consuming process. Thanks to the sun2live power supply source, we have been able to avoid this load enhancement from Lesco, as meeco´s solar solution provided us with around 300 KWp, which represents around 20 percent of our energy demand. This solar rooftop initiative gave us the chance to elude an investment in bigger generators. Now generators and solar power are working in sync to keep up with the power demand we have. Thus, our production has become stable and much more effective. Breakdowns are now an infrequent exception.


Drone Footage of the entire solar installation provided for Seasons Foods


Apart from fixing the problematic issues,
what other benefits did the installation provide you?
Does the solar solution affect the work of your employees?

The PV solution is obviously easing our daily routine since it helps to avoid stress. Our employees, and thus the whole business, are working more efficiently. Besides, we just need to pay the energy units, we really consume, which facilitates the whole management. Thanks to the clean energy modules, our business concern furthermore is contributing to a sustainable development, as this solar energy consumption is utterly beneficial for the environment. We are proud of this investment since it is sustainable, long term oriented and supports a greener and cleaner tomorrow.


How do the Pakistani people in general react to solar systems like yours?
Are they well aware of this alternative energy source
and do they invest in such projects?

A lot of people are interested in a similar solution, which goes along with buying out the equipment or sharing in the initial investment. There are a lot of international solar companies operational in Pakistan and the solar power market is growing steadily. Higher fuel prices are also shifting consumer attitudes towards those solutions.


Which further services from The meeco Group did you appreciate in particular during the installation process?

Not only the quality of the installed construction was very good, but also the staff was very helpful and walked us through the complete process of project planning and commissioning. Particularly, the financial advisory was ideal, since we could pay per unit costs on a monthly basis and did not have to finance any upfront costs.


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Total amount of 5060 sun2live rooftop modules generating 350 kWp


ThemeecoGroup_1blog – 350 kWp sun2live solar solution installed at Seasons Foods
– First sun2live PPA roof-top installations in Pakistan started