Solar-powered tomato greenhouse

Friday, 13 March, 2015

Sundrop Farms has selected Frazer-Nash Consultancy to provide Owner’s Engineer support to the construction of a landmark 20-hectare greenhouse in Port Augusta, where tomatoes will be grown with solar power and desalinated seawater.

Crops will be grown in greenhouses using the proprietary technology Sundrop Farms has developed to address the water and food security issues typical to arid regions. Concentrated solar power will be used to provide heat, power and water to grow high-quality produce all year round.

The $150m+ project will see the Sundrop Farms complex expand from a 2000 m2 pilot greenhouse to a 20-hectare commercial facility, producing 15,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables annually.

Greg Pope, business manager at Frazer-Nash, said: “We have provided independent technical due diligence to Sundrop Farms’ investors and partners since 2013. As the project moves into the next phase we will be able to provide further technical and engineering guidance to ensure the project’s success.”

Dr Ian Watson, systems engineering lead at Frazer-Nash, said: “Our engineers frequently apply their skills at the cutting edge of technology development in the energy, resources, transport, industrial and defence sectors; the team is thoroughly enjoying the challenge of applying their world-class engineering skills to growing tomatoes.”

Philipp Saumweber, Sundrop Farms CEO, commented: “Frazer-Nash’s engineering capabilities and the diligence, transparency and thoroughness of their analysis has been invaluable to the project to date; we are delighted they will provide Owner’s Engineer support to us over the next two years.”

Frazer-Nash will be providing practical and technical guidance to the design, testing and acceptance of the project during construction and commissioning through into operations. The role draws on Frazer-Nash’s engineering expertise supporting major capital projects in Australia and the UK.

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