The future of specialty and industrial gases in South Africa: Air Products South Africa (Pty) Limited
Backed by an expert and diverse team of over 400 dedicated individuals, Air Products South Africa (Pty) Limited has been providing a wide range of industrial and specialty gas products throughout South Africa for more than 50 years.
Air products was originally established in 1969 as a joint venture between Iscor (50 per cent) and Air Products (50 per cent), and over the years a veritable wealth of growth and development has taken place. Iscor later elected to move their holding to JSE-listed Metkor Group Holdings which is now controlled by Remgro. However, throughout Air Products South Africa’s various shifts and alterations in ownership, the company has remained an attractive prospect for every group controlling it, and has continued to flourish and add value to each parent enterprise throughout its time in business. The interest of these prominent groups through the joint venture and the sheer number of years the company has been successful certainly demonstrate that there is something rather special about Air Products. However, on closer inspection, TABJ reveals the various aspects of the company, from geographical spread and cost, time and quality effective products being provided to valuing individuals within the ranks and in the market as clients.
The outcome: a great result for customers.
At the heart of Air Products South Africa’s growth over the years are its goals to introduce new and innovative equipment, solutions and commercially-viable and proven technologies to its customers. This includes full processing of various gas streams in order to maintain cost effective usage by clients and increase production volumes within the industrial sector. The company states that it is now, the largest supplier in the on-site and pipeline market as well as a leader in the bulk, cylinder, specialty gas and chemicals supply markets.
Liquid and gaseous product is distributed to customers throughout South Africa using its modern fleet of the cryogenic tankers and cylinder trucks to provide reliable supplies of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen and carbon dioxide to major corporations in the steel, stainless steel, chemical, petrochemical and engineering industries, the company says.
Specialised chemical products vary widely in their attributes and, subsequently, their application depending on the client and market they are provided to. From polymers, polyurethane and performance chemicals right through to industrial chemicals, Air Products South Africa remains committed to providing processing and performance advantages irrespective of the methods of manufacturing or market serviced.
The company’s head office is located in Kempton Park, on the East Rand in Gauteng, and through its comprehensive network of nine strategically located facilities throughout South Africa, no job or client is too far afield and delivery time too ambitious. Its multi-location set up serves as part of the company’s obvious awareness for providing cost effective solutions to all clients, as well as establishing firm presences in key regions and building face-to-face relationships with everyone the company works alongside. This foundation has taken time to build up over the years, and puts Air Products South Africa in good stead to continue its fruitful work.
Similarly all-encompassing is the company’s range of products and markets serviced. From the food industries to gasses and equipment used by steel makers and electronics manufacturers, no stone is left unturned. The company has the in-house expertise and capability in terms of manpower to satisfy clients from every such echelon. Hospitals, chemical plants, subsea work such as diving, and even balloonists it appears that the company likes a challenge and relishes in rising above expectations every time.
Air Products is constantly seeking, testing and providing new ways to put our wide range of gases to work. Throughout its history we have been instrumental in delivering cost effective solutions in the supply of gases and services to the South African industry, the company says.
Major corporations in paper manufacturing, polymer, plastics and rubber processing, metal processing, semi conductors and food production rely on our expertise in their fields as well as our world class standards of gas purity and quality.
A core focus throughout these undertakings is health and safety, and as a ISO 9000 listed company with a five-star NOSA rating (National Occupational Safety Association), it is clear to see that the industry has recognised the standards of excellence with Air Products.
Defining Air Products S.A’s edge
One of the first things to materialize on closer inspection of Air Products South Africa is the steps the company has taken in servicing such a range of clients and markets with so many different products beginning with the way the company chooses to display what is on offer and break down the many options available. From Air Products full Product Supply Package (and additional Service Plus and Technical Service Plus ranges), to its presence throughout South Africa, to its efforts to convey the suitability of different products and supply routes, every care and attention is taken to give clients and potential clients all the information they need to make informed decisions about their product requirements. Whether a product is needed as a matter of urgency, or telemetry assisted data is preferred, even onto the 24-hour on-call team for emergency cases, the company’s set up is extensive and fully certified from health and safety to Certificates of Purity/Analysis that supersede industry standards.
Air Products safety philosophy is summed up as follows: Nothing is more important than safety, not production, not sales, not profits. The company states that it has come out top of the class in environmental health, safety and quality (according to a January 11 news release).
The company is instrumental as a member of the Southern Africa Compressed Gases Association too, where it joins others in the industry to work towards advancing standards in all areas, particularly health and safety and environmental concerns.
We can never afford to lose sight of our key goal which is to ensure the health and safety of our employees, and also that of customers, contractors, visitors and the general public, the company says.
The company’s most recent good news, which is proudly and prominently displayed online, is its 2011 BEE certificate. While this company, continues to grow and span more industries in South Africa, it is clear that this company will be at the helm of industry development.