Over the past 12 months, Afrox has invested over R5 million to upgrade its Special Gases Propellant Plant at Roodekop, Germiston, effectively positioning the company to capture a share of the country’s FMCG (fast moving commercial goods) personal care market. “An additional investment of R12 million is earmarked for the Propellant plant over the next two years which will further increase our plant capacity and strategic storage,” says Nadine Baird, Product Manager – Chemicals.
The Propellant Plant was originally commissioned in 1999 and services a broad customer-base in both the aerosol and foam blowing industries.
Afrox has become a well-established supplier to these areas of the market and, in light of the consistent growth taking place in the aerosol industry today, it was considered an ideal time to make a further investment in the filtration technology necessary to supply propellant to the personal care sector. At present this sector is worth more than R100million per annum in propellants.
A propellant is defined as an essentially non-toxic, unstenched gas that acts as a vehicle for discharging the contents of an aerosol container. It is the “driving force” behind an aerosol can. It is also used in the foam blowing process where the gas produces a certain molecular structure via a foaming process; this is then hardened and generates certain materials including polystyrene. Afrox is able to provide customers with a full range of butane/propane propellant blends, produced to a specific vapour pressure, depending on the customer’s specific requirements.
“An essential requirement in terms of propellant supply is the quality of the gas provided,” explains Baird. “Personal care propellant requires that stringent quality standards are met and that propellant gas contains no odour. To meet these requirements, we set up a team to identify the best filtration method to eliminate odours from the raw butane and propane products received from our suppliers.
“We also consulted with global chemical companies in regard to the required technology and the resulting filtration system allows us to remove 30 times more impurities than the current specification requires.
Afrox is also increasing its strategic storage capacity to ensure that in the event of any unplanned occurrence, we are able to deliver a continuous supply to our customers.
“The future of propellants is very exciting,” she concludes. “Afrox has much more to offer than quality gas — we have technical expertise, product supply security, a world class telemetry system that allows remote monitoring of tank levels and we’re flexible enough to be able to meet particular customer demands. We’re able to give our customers peace of mind, freeing them up to focus on their core business.”
Issued by: Serendipity Events, Promotions & Exhibitions
On behalf of: Afrox
Editorial contact: Loll Thomson (011) 467 2133 / Mail to: loll@
Client contact: Nadine Baird
Date: February 2014