Fuel and chemical distribution solutions

Since its founding in 1992, Liquid Automation Systems (LAS) has become a multi-disciplined company that offers complete solutions in the fuel and chemical logistics chain.  Currently, the company encompasses a number of solutions including the receipt of crude oil at import terminals, the storage at depots and terminals, as well as utilizing the control systems required for users of fuel. The company was purchased by Sturrock & Robson in 2006, which is a solely-owned international company that manages a diverse portfolio of niche industrial companies like LAS.

LAS has an ideal location, headquartered in Jet Park, South Africa, very close to OR Tambo International Airport and has various branches in South Africa and worldwide. Konrad Burger, Sales and Marketing Director of LAS says, “Our branches are all over the world including the U.K., U.S., Australia and South Africa.”

Distribution Solutions

The company offers comprehensive fuel measurement and management systems to major suppliers across the petroleum sectors. Burger notes that in Africa, the use of metered deliveries of fuel is extremely prevalent and this measuring system works in a number of ways. “The supply is attached onto a road vehicle that measures the fuel that is delivered at the different sites,” says Burger. “As it delivers, it prints out the delivery note for customers.” Burger explains that the second management system is a home based system where the client has their own tank and dispensing equipment.

With changing times the usage of metered delivery systems has shifted towards fuel parcel delivery, but Burger assures that the market is picking up again. “We used to have 80 per cent of the market, it died a bit because of fuel parcel delivery. Now however, a lot of companies are reverting back to measured deliveries,” he says.

Across many sectors

LAS works in a number of different sectors with their fuel measurement and management systems.  Their sectors include Mining/Quarrying, aviation, rail, fleet and retail and petrochemical. The mining sector is a major area of focus for LAS.  The company works with mines to ensure every drop of fuel is accounted for, enabling mine operators to determine what their best performing assets are and to manage them in relation to fuel consumption.

Burger says, “The consumer management system is very much a home based solution and there are number of industries that use them. We are very well blessed with minerals so the mining sector is a big portion of our business,” says Burger.

Currently, the company is working on the Jwaneng Mine in Botswana which is the richest diamond mine in the world. “Since we had a system installed there and we are expanding with them. It’s quite a significant expansion,” says Burger.

The aviation sector is also an important sector for LAS and with its Total Integrated Solutions for aviation, it combines fuel accounting and security with bulk storage all the way through to point of delivery.  “In the U.S. we service about fifty airports with our solutions,” says Burger. Its aviation fuel management system includes: aircraft refuelling, ground service equipment refuelling, customer and product owner identification, vehicle and driver recognition, inventory management via tank gauging and more.

Company goals

LAS has major goals of growth in its future and with its steady work in various sectors, it is on its way to fulfilling these goals. “We are looking at about a 20 per cent growth over the next five years per annum and to become an even bigger supplier in our field.”

Since the company provides such broad solutions, and there are many competitors who specialize within that broad base, and LAS would like to be the preferred supplier for the measurement and handling of fuel.

Health, safety and social responsibility

Health and safety is a major aspect for the company being in a field which can be quite hazardous. Burger says, “We operate within all the legislation and laws regarding personal safety and we have weekly and monthly safety meetings to ensure that we work in a safe way.”

As far as LAS’ social responsibility it has a training school in which it trains individuals with a variety of skills. “We take in people, train them and make them ready for the environment in which we work. We try to train people for our own use and also those that we can’t accommodate, to be employed in the industry,” says Burger.

LAS is a company that has been around for many years and prides itself on its contributions to the industry in South Africa. It stands out amongst competitors with its broadly based solutions, 24/7 call centre and support staff. “The majority of our competitors don’t have that nor the broad base of our offerings,” adds Burger. The company is a one stop shop for all client’s measuring and handling petrochemical equipment needs and with its reliable staff and solutions, will remain a major contender in South Africa and beyond.