Gas Equipment Company, Inc. (GEC) Acquired by MAKEEN Energy

(March 9, 2020) — MAKEEN Energy’s daughter company, Kosan Crisplant, has signed an agreement to acquire Gas Equipment Company (GEC), closing of the deal will take place before end of March 2020. This newest acquisition is aimed at strengthening the global business and network of the group’s trading division, KC ProSupply.
80+ year propane parts distributor Gas Equipment Co sells to Maaken Energy reports BPN propane industry's leading source for news since 1939. 030920
Reinforcing global presence and volume Gas Equipment Company, Inc. (based in Dallas, USA) will in the future be part of the international, Denmark-based company MAKEEN Energy. GEC thus becomes the latest branch of MAKEEN Energy’s trading division, KC ProSupply, which supplies gas components and other commodities as well as service and consultancy for the gas industry worldwide.

The previous owner, Skeeter LaDue, will continue to lead GEC under the new ownership. “I am thrilled to be able to pass on ownership of GEC to a company that wants to carry our values forward. Joining forces with people as passionate about energy industry success as us is what takes us into the next chapter in our storybook.” Skeeter LaDue President, GEC.

“This acquisition opens up new possibilities for us in the US market and allows us to develop our existing presence and services substantially. I am convinced that this move will lead to an exciting and successful future for both parties.” Bo Larsen Sales Director, MAKEEN Energy.

Mutual advantages and synergies. The acquisition of GEC adds extra volume and new business areas to KC ProSupply. By building on its physical locations and its relations to the market, the GEC business can now be further strengthened by developing the service area and offering added value to the American customers – from purchase, consultancy and delivery to installation and on-site services.
Gas Equipment 80th Award BrianSkeeter"The trading activities in KC ProSupply are a strategic focus area for which we have ambitious goals, and with the acquisition of GEC, which is the largest acquisition to date, our trading division will assume a size justifying merging the activities in one powerful unit. The unit will consist of 180 employees and have a yearly turnover of approx. 85 MUSD", said Anders C. Anderson, CEO, MAKEEN Energy.

High volume, combined with many years in the business, means that GEC holds a strong position with many of the major suppliers. GEC and KC ProSupply can, therefore, achieve substantial synergies in relation to the key suppliers, both in terms of higher volume as well as easier daily access to the US-based suppliers for the European branches of KC ProSupply.

Facts about MAKEEN Energy a/s:
  • The MAKEEN Energy group unites Kosan Crisplant, Siraga, KC LNG, KC ProSupply and MAKEEN Power under the same roof.
  • Together, these companies and brands make it possible for MAKEEN Energy a/s to provide 360-degree energy solutions of every kind – LPG, LNG, spare parts, service, engineering and power plants.
  • Trading of gas components through KC ProSupply has become a growing part of MAKEEN Energy's business in recent years and now accounts for a solid portion of the company's annual turnover.
Facts about Gas Equipment Co., Inc.:
  • GEC is a warehouse distributor of in-process, transfer and control equipment for oil and gas producers, transporters and LPG marketers.
  • The company has expanded into the segments of industrial/petrochemical and industrial gas/cry/NOx/SCR and natural gas liquids, as well as integrated systems for these markets.
  • The LaDue family established the company in Dallas, Texas, in 1937 and have owned the company ever since.
  • Currently, GEC has 11 offices across the central, southern and eastern United States.

Women In Propane Profile: An Emerging Leader Is Changing Perceptions

Women In Propane Profiles Priyanka Shaw emgering female leader in propane industry and interantional Indian Oil Propane exec receives World LPG Award reports BPN march 6, 2020(March 6, 2020) — Growing up as an only child in West Bengal, India, Priyanka Shaw was often told she was the boy in the family. Boys, not girls, were the ones naturally expected to do well and provide for their families. “Why can’t I be the girl in the family and be equally supported?” she asked.

After entering the propane industry less than two years ago, Shaw, the first female field marketing officer in LPG in her division of the Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL), is quickly helping to change cultural perceptions of women and the propane industry.

Her work encouraging women in rural areas to use propane as an alternative fuel and “being a friend, philosopher, and guide to LPG distributors and helping them to creatively attain their full potential” is earning her accolades not only at Indian Oil, but internationally.

The Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG) recently honored her with the first Young Woman of the Year Award. The award was launched to recognize women under the age of 30 who have made a contribution to the LPG industry or who demonstrate significant motivation. Priyanka Shaw clearly fits both categories.

“Being an employee of a Fortune 500 company where more than 350 women are in LPG business today, I feel privileged to be able to become an example for other women in the industry and pave the future road for them,” Shaw said.

Her job responsibilities include the commissioning of new LPG distributors, market forecasting, maintaining regular supplies in liaison with bottling plants, monitoring sales, inspecting distributor operations, and educating distributors.

The main focus of Shaw’s work is presenting clinics for consumers—primarily women—about the health, safety and life-changing benefits of propane. She travels to remote areas where she holds around 100 clinics a month to crowds of 100 to 250. In addition, she goes door-to-door so she can be in direct contact with the women. “I focus on getting feedback from them. Once women are educated, it keeps me motivated,” she added.

Throughout her life, Shaw’s parents have been her inspiration and support system. “My parents are schoolteachers, and since childhood, they have taught me the core foundational behaviors—respect, kindness, and caring,” she said.

“I studied for my degree in Bachelor of Pharmacy at Jadavpur University during which I became the Cultural Management Secretary. [This is] where I must have developed my passion for leadership.” From there, she then went on to obtain her MBA from Indian Institute of Management.

She describes a marketing field officer’s job as 24/7, requiring many long hours. Shaw admits at times it is hard to find a balance between her career and home life. “But, when your passion is in complete alignment with your profession, even toughest days at work become full of excitement, and then balancing my career life with home life becomes enthusiastic.”

In addition, Shaw is the District Nodal Officer of the two districts of Assam, North East; a member of Indian Pharmacy Graduates’ Association; and a member of the organizing committee of the National Seminar on Research and Development and Pharmaceuticals.

As an emerging leader, her goals are defined by her passion for clean energy and women in leadership. “I will strive to promote diversity in the LPG industry, and in a period of 15 years from now, I will aim to lead to a 50% increase of women employed in the industry.

“The famous quote by Archimedes can best describe my short- and long-term goal, ‘Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough, and I will move the world’—where ‘place’ refers to the LPG industry and ‘lever’ refers to women’s empowerment. I want to convert this world to a greener environment for a baby to breathe and a pollution-free place for a baby yet to be born.

“In my career path, I will learn about my industry as much as possible and will try to absorb as much knowledge as I can. I will strive to become the chairman of IOCL and the future ambassador of WINLPG.” — Karen Massman VanAsdale

VW Trust Transit and Shuttle Bus Program Accepting Applications

(March 4, 2020) The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for the Volkswagen Trust Transit and Shuttle Bus Program through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CDT. Qualifying applicants include government agencies and private entities that own eligible buses.

Mo Dept Natural Resources Accepting Grant applications for Propane Autogas Bus and Shuttle Grants reports BPN the propane industry's leading source for news since 1939Awards shall be used for the replacement of government–owned and nongovernment-owned buses 2009 and older engine model year, Class 4-8 vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds used for transporting people. School buses, defined as class 4-8 school bus style vehicles (Type A-D) with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds used to transport students to and from school or school-related activities, are not eligible under this award category.

Applicants may apply to replace eligible buses or re-power eligible buses with cost effective, clean, near-zero emissions propane autogas. The engine model year of the new engine must be the same as the year in which the project occurs or one year prior. The new vehicle must have a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds and be the same or lower Class 4-8 truck as the vehicle it is replacing. The new vehicle or engine cannot be a gasoline powered engine.

For the purposes of this category, “Government,” means a state or local government agency (including a school district, municipality, city, county, special district, transit district, joint powers authority, or port authority, owning fleets purchased with government funds), and a tribal government or native village.

Highlights include:
  • Eligible engine model years are 2009 and older.
  • Eligible vehicles are government–owned and nongovernment-owned buses 2009 and older engine model year Class 4-8 vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds used for transporting people. School buses are not eligible under this award category.
  • May receive from 25% to 75% of the cost of the project, depending on repower or replacement, and government or nongovernment ownership.
  • Old engine or vehicle must be permanently disabled.
  • May repower or replace with new diesel, biodiesel, alternate fuel, or all-electric engine.
  • Maximum amount of fund request per applicant this round is $1 million.
  • Any proposed repower or replacement of a bus with a cost effectiveness calculation of more than $50 award dollars per pound of lifetime NOx emission reduction is ineligible to receive funding.
Additional information:
Volkswagen Trust Transit and Shuttle Bus Program Application and instructions--Form, MO 780-2842

Visit Missouri Department of Natural Resources at https://dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp/vw/index.html for additional funding opportunities and to see information listed below:
• Implementation Guidelines
• Program requirements
• SAM II Input Form
•Awarded Projects
 (A list that shows applicants awarded under the Transit and Shuttle Bus category. The list includes selected applicants receiving funding from February 2019 to present.)
• Selected Awardees FY19
• Project Ranking Information FY20

Does Your Insurance Program Stack Up?

(March 3, 2020) — By Frank B. Thompson… The above question is asked many times by propane marketers who visit with us at the trade shows that we attend, or when we receive a call from a marketer who has just found out that a loss wasn’t covered. So let’s look at several scenarios showing how marketers chose their insurance agent and insurance company.

Expert Insurance policy Advice for retail propane marketers by Thompson Insurance in BPN the LPG industry leading source for news since 1939To begin with, there are over 1800 insurance companies doing business in the United States and over 1.2 million licensed insurance agents. The majority of the insurance companies and agents are personal lines agents (car insurance, home, and small Main Street business). What that means to the marketer who is required to insure his business is, he has choices. The choice is usually to deal with a local agent who stops by occasionally to fill his propane bottle and visits with the office staff when he pays for his propane.

DO NOT SOLICIT
The local agent goes to the insurance company he represents and asks for them to quote. Propane is considered a “do not solicit” by most insurance companies and so the local agent is forced to go to a third-party surplus lines broker to find a market to write the account. That decision is where the disconnect begins.

The surplus lines broker represents insurance companies that are usually non-admitted in most states and write accounts that are hard to place, normally at a higher price and with less coverage.

The surplus lines broker sends the local agent a supplemental application that needs to be completed and signed by both the agent and the marketer. The agent usually doesn’t understand the questions, so a lot of guessing can occur or improper answers can be given. The result is an inaccurate or incomplete application that is rejected by the insurance company underwriter.

REJECTION
So begins a tedious, time-consuming game. The marketer needs the insurance and communicates that to the agent. The agent goes back to the surplus lines broker to find out why the submission was rejected. The surplus lines agent talks to the insurance company underwriter to find out why the account was declined. The surplus lines broker communicates the incorrect answers on the submission and the agent then has to go back to the marketer who has to explain what the question was asking.

The correct answers go back to the surplus lines broker who now has a job to get the underwriter to change his mind (good luck!) and provide a quote.

The agent presents the quote to the marketer, and because the marketer has the misconception that all insurance agents and insurance companies are equal and “the price is right” (low), he buys the policy. He is trusting the agent to know enough about the propane business so that his business is properly insured.

The agent may not know enough about the insurance company or the services they do or do not provide, to notice that the policy may have been issued differently from what he presented and the insured thought he bought. There may be exclusions that take away needed coverage.

Little errors on the policy can play a major role in a claim—for instance, the property policy was issued on an Actual Cash Value basis rather than Replacement Cost. The difference between the two can result in a huge settlement discrepancy, forcing both the insured and the agent to seek legal counsel.

COMMON MISTAKES
The most common mistake is buying insurance based on the lowest quote from an insurance company that is just starting to insure propane. Are the vehicles the same? Are the gallons the same? Are the payrolls the same? But that is not the whole story. Do they know enough about propane to handle any possible claim?

One major insurance company’s advertising says it best: “Your Insurance Carrier Has To Really Know Your Industry To Actually Be There For You.”

Let me give you two examples that show the difference between an insurance carrier that knew nothing about propane and had a large claim, and an insurance company that knows and understands propane and how they handled a large claim.

In the first instance, I was presenting a quote to a propane marketer located in the Midwest. The marketer started the conversation by telling me that a propane explosion occurred as his transport was delivering propane to an asphalt plant. The truck and the asphalt plant were both total losses.

I asked about what his current insurance company was doing in handling the claim. The response—nothing. No claims adjustors, no cause-and-origin engineers, no attorneys assigned—nothing.

POLICY LIMITS
Several years later, after paying higher insurance premiums due to the huge open reserves on his loss runs, I found out the insurance company settled the claim for policy limits, without looking at the extenuating events that caused the loss, and without any discussion with the insured.

In the second example, the insurance agent had a 24-hour answering service to report after-hours emergencies. The insurance company had underwriting expertise and maintains 24-hour emergency claims service. The insurance company is fully staffed with claims, loss prevention, engineering, and attorneys who are knowledgeable about propane.

The propane marketer had a commercial customer who used a lot of propane. The customer’s store caught fire in the middle of the night and the agent was notified of the potential claim that propane might be involved. The potential claim was turned in to the insurance company while the store was still burning.

Immediately, the insurance company assigned a claims adjuster, a cause-and-origin engineer, and an attorney. While the cause of the fire was found to be an arsonist and not propane-related, the insurance claims professionals did a full investigation with the state fire marshal. The reason—so that in the future, the insured would have a full defense if one of the other insurance companies that insured the customer’s store wanted to pursue subrogation.

WHY SPECIALIZE?
The above is a good example of what it means to specialize. Your agent and your insurance company both need to know all there is to know about the propane business, to be there for you.

Frank B. Thompson is a chartered property and casualty underwriter based in Phoenix. He is the owner of PT Risk Management, an independent insurance company specializing in writing propane and petroleum risk policies throughout the U.S.

URGENT! Help Oppose Portman Amendment to S.2657 Limiting Energy Choice

(March 2, 2020) — The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has announced that the U.S. Senate is considering the American Energy Innovation Act of 2020 (S. 2657), and there is massive pressure to include a building codes amendment offered by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. This amendment would exacerbate the current housing affordability crisis and limit energy choice to consumers, including attempts to ban energy efficient propane and natural gas in homes throughout the country.
NPGA Legislation Alert Oppose the Portman Amendment to S.2657 that eliminates propane energy choice for homeowners reports BPN march 3, 2020
Please send an email to your U.S. Senators TODAY and urge them to oppose the amendment!
 
Be sure to share this with as many people as you can including friends, family, online platforms, employees, business partners and encourage them to send emails and share too!
 
If you have questions, please contact NPGA’s Michael Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-466-7200.