Greenhouse Expansion in Russia
Although Russia has abundant agricultural land and water resources, it is among the largest importers of agricultural food products in the world, including fruits and vegetables; but the situation is rapidly changing as the country moves towards improving its food security.
According to ‘Greenhouses of Russia’, the total greenhouse acreage in the country has been reduced by almost 50% over the past 20 years, mainly attributed to high energy tarrifs. To turn it around, financial incentives have been awarded to expand greenhouse construction in the Far Eastern Amur Oblast region (from Siberia to the Pacific Coast) to around 31,500 square metres, which is expected to increase production volumes by almost 70%.
The chairman of the region’s APC ‘Hothouse’, Catherine Potapchuk, affirms that the new facilities for domestic greenhouse production in the Oblast region will be given a 30% discount in heating costs and will be built with airtight, modern materials, simular to those used in many European countries.
Leading the greenhouse expansion program in Russia is a 238ha project in the Kaluga region, a special economic zone located 300km from Moscow. The local government is dedicated to diversify the local economy with the cultivation of tomatoes, cucumbers and vegetable greens. The goal is to become self-sufficient in the production of vegetables.
Besides the greenhouses, Dalsem will also build the industrial premises with the complete installation of the water utility room, cold rooms, offices and the loading and discharge section.
Construction has already begun on the first stage, 20ha of greenhouses to be built by Dalsem, a Dutch greenhouse manufacturer, for Agro-Invest, an international financial institution. Dalsem develops hi-tech horticulture projects, providing all the required tools to allow the grower to maximise production. This includes controlling the climate and irrigation for the plants. All parts of the greenhouse, the installations and systems, are manufactured in the Dalsem factory. Unique to Dalsem is the complete control of design, manufacturing and execution of the project, including training, management and consultancy.
Dalsem has selected Hoogendoorn to provide the high-tech automation solutions for the project to control all processes in the greenhouse. It chose Hoogendoorn based on the flexibility, reliability and user-friendliness of its software.
For more than 45 years, Hoogendoorn has developed durable and user-friendly automation solutions for horticultural businesses worldwide.
These solutions are produced according to modern methods and are based on the latest technologies. Hoogendoorn has several offices worldwide and a strong partner network. In this manner, modern horticultural technology can be coordinated completely with the growers’ desires and circumstances. In addition, Hoogendoorn provides practically oriented user training, 24-hour helpdesk and reliable local maintenance service.
The greenhouses will be fully equipped for the production of 10 hectares of tomatoes and eight hectares of cucumbers. One hectare will be prepared for the propagation of young plants and seedlings and another hectare for the cultivation of herbs. The growing area will be fully equipped with systems for heating, high pressure fogging, roof sprinkler system, substrate-irrigation, substrate cultivation, CO2 dosing, overhead (1000W) under intermediate (250W) lights and screens.
Unique to Dalsem is the complete control of design, manufacturing and execution of the project, including training, management and consultancy.
The propagation and herbs areas will be equipped with aluminum rolling benches, and ebb and flood irrigation. The energy building is equipped with four Rolls Royce Gensets of each 9,285MWe. Two of these Gensets are equipped with selective catalytic reactors for the production of CO2. Additionally, this building will be equipped with four hot water boilers with a capacity of 11.6 MWth each.
Besides the greenhouses, Dalsem will also build the industrial premises with the complete installation of the water utility room, cold rooms, offices and the loading and discharge section. Collection of rainwater and reuse of drainage water and purification of well water are included.
The climate computer will play an important role in the control of all processes in the 20-hectare business. Dalsem and Agro-Invest made a conscious choice for the Hoogendoorn climate computer iSii to manage every aspect, from climate to irrigation and energy. The most important reasons are the flexibility, reliability and user-friendliness of the system. On one hand, it is very easy to switch languages quickly. This allows the Dutch crop advisor and the Russian manager to log into the system and adjust the settings, each in their own language. In addition, all settings of the iSii climate computer are flexible configurable, allowing the computer to operate optimally at any given project.
– by Steven Carruthers.