FLEXSPEED - the heart of a filling giant

image collage of Saudi Arabia map and a Flexspeed carrousel


GASCO, Saudi Arabia

The customer's challenge
Increasing demand for LPG and a need for higher production capacities meant that GASCO's filling plants needed to have their capacity raised.

Our solution
The high-speed filling system FLEXSPEED for the Riyadh plant with an additional capacity of more than 3,000 cylinders/hour.

The outcome
GASCO's filling plant in Riyadh became the biggest LPG filling plant in the world with a capacity of 14,400 cylinders filled per hour.

Scope of supply

  • Complete EPC project - dismantling, civil works, and installation.
  • 3 FLEXSPEED carrousels, 3600 cylinders/hour each.
  • 1 upgraded filling lines, 1800 cylinders/hour
  • 1 new filling line, 1800 cylinders/hour

When Saudi Arabian gas filling company GASCO decided to renovate the filling lines of their seven sites, they set out with one idea of what they needed but ended up with something quite different when Kosan Crisplant entered the scene with a bold suggestion. KC's proposal included several FLEXSPEED lines and would make GASCO's filling plant in Riyadh the largest in the world with a total filling capacity of more than 14,000 cylinders per hour.

Faced with an increasing demand for LPG and a consequent need for higher production capacities, state-owned GASCO (National Gas and Industrialization Co) initiated the renovation project in the mid 00's. The aim was a future-proof overall solution encompassing all of GASCO's filling plants that would raise the capacity of each filling line to 1,800 cylinders/hour.

Thorough groundwork

From GASCO's side, the preparatory work for the project included the installation of a model filling line that was to be the basis for the entire renovation project. As GASCO had partially renovated some of their plants themselves over the years, the degree of renovation varied from plant to plant, depending on how much of the existing equipment could be reused. Once GASCO had decided on the concept for each of the filling plants to be renovated, they put the project out to tender.

Making others good

As part of the tendering process, Kosan Crisplant's engineers visited GASCO's filling plants to verify the feasibility of the project, but their analysis should soon lead to alternative suggestions on how to further future-proof the plants. As Kosan Crisplant's EPC Sales Manager Henning Krogh Pedersen puts it, "we're not the kind of company who just supplies what the customer asks. We consider ourselves consultants and take pride in helping our customers achieve their goals in the best possible way".

And as it turned out that GASCO was about to initiate another future-oriented project, namely replacing the old screw valves on their cylinders with modern center valves, Kosan Crisplant suggested they consider the high-speed filling system FLEXSPEED for the Riyadh plant - a solution that would give GASCO an additional capacity of more than 3,000 cylinders/hour within the framework of the tender.

The world's largest filling plant

Being a visionary and technology-oriented company, GASCO recognised the advantages of this solution and chose Kosan Crisplant as the supplier for the main part of the renovation program. The contract, which was signed in February of 2010, awarded Kosan Crisplant four of the seven sites to be renovated, among those the key filling plant in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, a fast-growing urban area home to more than 5 million people.

Once completed, the plant in Riyadh that originally had six traditional filing lines boasted three brand new FLEXSPEED lines, each with a capacity of 3,600 cylinders/hour, plus one upgraded traditional filling line and one new filling line, each with a capacity of 1,800 cylinders/hour. All in all, it achieved a record-breaking capacity of at least 14,000 cylinders per hour, making it the largest filling plant in the world.

Civil works included

But the project was not only grand in terms of production output. Being a true EPC project, the installation works included much more than just the installation of new filling equipment. Everything from dismantling the old filling lines and installing the new ones to new piping for LPG and firewater, new concrete floors, and much more was handled by Kosan Crisplant.

Henning Krogh Pedersen says: "We - or the local companies we have contracted for this purpose - basically removed everything from the filling hall: machinery, piping, concrete floors. Everything. Only the roof is left. And then we start all over". This way, GASCO got a brand new filling plant without having to deal with more than one contractor.

A big project becomes bigger

The GASCO project was carried out in five stages in order to keep up the production while the renovation took place, with the first stage completed in 2011. During the course of the first years of the project, it grew from big to even bigger, as KC's consultancy approach led to more suggestions on how to further optimise the filling plants.

As a result, twelve of the fifteen filling lines that were to be renovated would instead be replaced by brand new ones, and once the final stage of the project, which included three other filling plants in Saudi Arabia, was completed in 2018, GASCO had exactly the kind of future-proof plants for which they were aiming.