The opening of Reatile Gaz’s first Eastern Cape facility today signals another step forward in the company’s positive growth path and strengthens the local supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for industry and the hospitality sector.
The depot and cylinder-filling facility in Markman, Port Elizabeth, extends the national footprint of Reatile Gaz and supports the company’s ability to meet the demands of key national customers, as well as its wide base of small and medium enterprise customers.
An initial R10-million investment has set up a facility with storage capacity of 45 000 litres, with plans for future growth.
“We have been encouraged by the positive economic growth prospects of the Eastern Cape, specifically those in Nelson Mandela Bay. Developing the gas supply market within a growing region made business sense for us. The Port Elizabeth depot also enhances our national footprint and forms a vital supply chain link with our existing Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal facilities,” Reatile Gaz Chairperson, Simphiwe Mehlomakulu, said today.
The company’s growing national footprint has enhanced its service to companies that have multiple sites, offering the benefit of group advantages such as pricing and resource allocation, Reatile Gaz General Manager Roger Rudd added.
“Reatile’s expansion aligns well with the Department of Energy’s objectives for the transformation of the energy sector and their drive to promote LPG as a safer, cleaner and more affordable alternative to the likes of paraffin, for household use,” he said.
Reatile Gaz is the broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) alliance partner of leading industrial gas company Air Products; and their Eastern Cape expansion follows Air Products’ investment into developing the region’s first air separation unit in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).
Having purchased Air Product’s LPG business in 2009, Reatile Gaz is the exclusive supplier and distributor of LPG to Air Products and its customers. The opening of a Port Elizabeth depot enables Reatile to service this customer base along with a growing number of heavy industrial customers in the city and the flourishing tourism and leisure industry.
Speaking at today’s opening, Air Products General Manager: Central Services Josua le Roux welcomed Reatile’s expansion and said the win/win partnership between the two companies allows Air Products to supplement their full bouquet of products offered to Eastern Cape customers, while also allowing Reatile to draw on Air Products’ strategic support and industry expertise.
“We regard our relationship with Reatile as a powerful, strategic alliance in the South African gas industry; which enables both partners to offer their customers a better service with a full range of products, ensuring secure and reliable supply across the board,” Le Roux said.
Rudd said the new plant had a storage capacity of 45 000 litres of LPG and would fill approximately 400 cylinders of various sizes per eight-hour shift. The plant will act as a distribution facility, supplying cylinders to customers, as well as providing back-up bulk storage for customers.
“We pride ourselves on the service and safety levels offered to customers. Every resource available to us is strategically aligned to focus on offering service excellence. Our goal is always to offer tailor-made solutions to individual customer requirements,” he said, welcoming new customers in the region to take advantage of the new facility’s offering.
Mehlomakulu noted that Reatile Gaz’s Level 3 B-BBEE status was not only a proud achievement for the company, but also a positive differentiator for customers seeking to enhance their empowerment-focused supply chain development.
The company has grown from strength-to-strength since its acquisition of Air Products’ LPG business – subsequently acquiring Engen’s LPG business and a stake in Egoli Gas, and opening depots in Gauteng (Germiston and Krugersdorp) and Blackheath in Cape Town.
Mehlomakulu said in the process Reatile had also implemented downstream enterprise development for small black-owned businesses and become a major LPG supplier in the Southern African region.
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