Ocado – the FTSE 100 grocery delivery firm – has unveiled the cause of a huge fire which engulfed its flagship distribution centre in Andover earlier this year.
An investigation found that the blaze was started when an electrical fault in a battery prompted one of its grocery-picking robots to catch fire.
Ablaze: A fault at one of the battery charging units caused the plastic lid on the top of the robot to catch alight
Ocado said the fault at one of the battery charging units at the edge of the ambient storage grid caused the plastic lid on the top of the robot to catch alight.
It has since taken remedial action to prevent the risk of another fire. This includes the installation of additional smoke detectors and the removal of the plastic lid on its robots.
Ocado will also add heat sensors to its ambient product storage grid.
The details were included in a statement to shareholders published by Ocado in relation to its new joint venture deal with Marks & Spencer.
The FTSE 100 firm supplies its cutting-edge technology to supermarkets around the world
The fire broke out in the days before Ocado and M&S revealed that they were forming a new alliance.
The deal will see Ocado’s 20-year contract with Waitrose terminated at the end of next year, and M&S groceries available for home delivery for the first time.
The fire knocked Ocado’s first quarter sales by 1.2 per cent, but the company insisted the incident was only a ‘temporary setback’.
Its share price has rocketed over the last year and reached new heights in April.
The FTSE darling is on a winning streak after signing a number of contracts to supply its technology to supermarket giants around the globe.
Most recently, the firm penned a deal with Australian grocer Coles.
Shares slipped by more than 4 per cent in mid-morning trading on Monday to 1,349.50.