Puregas announces expansion plans

The company is expanding its storage capacity and upgrading its processes and plant safety measures. These developments will ensure continuity of supply and enhanced product quality to meet customers’ needs.

The South African aerosols industry has grown consistently over the past few years, which has resulted in an increase in demand for propellant from Puregas. While the company’s volumes continue to grow, unfortunately the local supply of gas has declined or at best remained constant. As a result, Puregas has been importing product by bulk ship to ensure supply interruptions do not affect its business or that of its customers. This has led to the need for a new on-site storage tank, which will act as a stock buffer when supply interruptions occur.

‘Customer service is core to our philosophy,’ says Philip Cloete, MD of Puregas. ‘Ensuring continuity of supply is central to this, which is why we are embarking on a project to install a new 500m3 gas storage tank, which is scheduled to be commissioned during the fourth quarter of 2017.’ The tank is being produced locally by Sikelela Steel – an engineering company that specialises in manufacturing quality pressure vessels for gas storage.

At the forefront of quality and safety Along with customer service, safety-centric measures are central to Puregas’ success. The company’s technical manager, Grant Gascoigne says that the project has received the necessary approvals and all safety and environmental aspects of the installation will be overseen by Puregas’ SHEQ manager, Thomas Xaba.
‘The new tank has the capacity to store 500 000l of propellant, and will be the largest tank situated on the Puregas site,’ Gascoigne explains. ‘In terms of the physical installation, the tank will be mounded above ground, resulting in reduced fire water usage and minimal environmental impact.

Loading arms will also be fitted at three positions for the offloading of road and rail tankers, and the loading of road tankers. We believe this is a first for independent gas companies in South Africa.’

The expansion project will also see Puregas increase its amount of on-site gas detection and expand on its process flexibility to shorten the processing time to attain the refined finished product. This is particularly important in the treatment of imported propellant. These developments are set to position Puregas as a supplier of choice to the personal care, home care and wider aerosol industry.

New GM for Puregas
At the end of January, Puregas welcomed its new GM of sales and operations. Jaco Wiese has a chemical engineering background and vast experience in the gas sector. His appointment forms part of the company’s succession plan with Duncan Bell having recently retired.

In his new role, Wiese will continue to build the company’s core focus of customer service and the solid relationships that already exist with its propellant customers. ‘Everyone talks of customer centricity, but at Puregas, the team lives by this,’ he explains. ‘It’s refreshing to see this ethos engrained in everything we do.’
Wiese is a practical person who enjoys tech gadgets and tinkering in his spare time. His hands-on approach and love for technology will stand in good stead to drive efficiencies within Puregas while enhancing its already strong focus on customer service.