Cylinder plant set to open

December 6, 1999, 08:00 CET

A new plant part-owned by Statoil is due to start making 10-kilogram propane cylinders in a composite material at Raufoss north of Oslo early next year.

This facility belongs to Ragasco, owned 66 per cent by Raufoss Composite and 34 per cent by Statoil, which was established after the two companies concluded a production deal for the cylinders earlier this year.

"The factory will be one of the most modern of its kind in the world," says marketing manager Jens Økland in Retailing & Nordic Energy.

He adds that Statoil initially wants to sell the cylinders in the Scandinavian market, but could offer them internationally in the longer term.

The group has exclusive rights to sell the composite propane cylinders in Scandinavia and other selected markets around the world.

Since the composite cylinders are transparent, users can see how much propane remains inside. They weigh only about half as much as steel containers and – unlike steel or aluminium – neither rust nor oxidise.

Cylinders in glassfibre-reinforced composite are also stronger than aluminium, do not age and can be recycled.

Raufoss Composite is responsible for production, while Statoil will handle marketing. The group currently sells just under 3,000 tonnes of propane in cylinders annually to the Norwegian market.

Propane is a natural gas liquid produced at oil refineries or from processing natural gas. It can be liquefied under a small increase in pressure to make distribution easier.