LISTED A. Brown Co. Inc. (ABCI) and Rusatom Healthcare, the non-energy arm of Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corp., have signed an agreement to build irradiation centers in the Philippines that would prolong the shelf life of farm produce and fruit exports.
The deal, signed during the 10th International Forum Atomexpo 2018 in the Russian city of Sochi this week, outlined the project’s phases, from feasibility studies to construction and commissioning.
It is in line with a memorandum of understanding and framework agreement signed by the two companies last September.
According to ABCI President Roel Castro, who signed the agreement with Rusatom Healthcare Deputy Director General Rustam Rakhmatukin, the feasibility study will take about three to four months to complete.
An investment agreement is targeted before the end of 2018 or early 2019.
The project cost was not revealed, however, as the companies are yet to finish the study.
The pilot project, to be set up in Davao City, will offer commercial services of product treatment with ionizing radiation.
It may also serve as a sterilization platform for medical devices.
“This pilot project that we plan will be the first commercial facility [of its kind]in the Philippines,” Castro said.
It is “a major breakthrough [that]will add value to existing tropical fruit producers who are looking for export markets, as well as enhancing the quality of high-value medical products,” he added.
The Philippines may be a big exporter of bananas, mangoes, and pineapples, but it is still “unable to catch up, technology-wise,” with Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which already have irradiation facilities, the A. Brown chief said.
Irradiation would prolong the shelf life of farm produce for another three or four weeks, as it sanitizes them using radiation, he added.
Rusatom Healthcare CEO Denis Cherednichenko said his company offered a “turn-key solution in radiation technologies,” which included designing and building irraditation centers, manufacturing and delivering equipment, training personnel, and commissioning facilities.
“The technology we offer to our Philippine partners is based on more than 70 years of experience in the nuclear field, and we hope it will contribute to the sustainable development of the Philippines,” he added.