New cooling and buffer tanks at a food production plant in the Netherlands include a state-of-the-art, large flash cooler and future-proof ammonia refrigeration system. The three-step cooling process is extremely efficient and incorporates heat recovery.

The use of ammonia as a natural refrigerant, rather than Freon, makes it more future proof and improves the efficiency of the unit. However, it brings with it challenges of flammability and toxicity which needed to be addressed. In addition, the low temperature requirements for the plant meant a unique near-vacuum design was used in the flash cooler for the first time in such a unit.

A further challenge was space constraints at the site. We designed the solution from the inside out, starting with the process and subsequently the exterior. 3D aspect models within a BIM model were also key in the success of the project, alongside close collaboration from an early stage in the design. We were involved with the process and instrumentation designs and provided design, engineering and construction management for the project, supervising quality control and contributing to safety analysis.