As the Australian industrial gas market has slowly grown in prominence and continues to emerge and develop, a number of companies are needed to cater for the diverse requirements this provides.

Melbourne-based CEM international Pty Ltd is a privately owned Australian company in the state of Victoria and as the premier Australian supplier and manufacturer of cryogenic vessels, storage and transport tanks, CEM offers such an essential service to the industry.

Located on a 1.5 hectare site at Broadmeadows, Victoria, Australia CEM employs approximately 75 salary and wages personnel.

The company was established in 1972, with the principal activity being the manufacture of cryogenic pressure vessels for the storage and transportation of liquefied gases for the Australian air gas market.

In the intervening years the company has experienced continued growth and development, with the addition of non-cryogenic vessels for liquefied gases to their range of manufactured products and the addition of a variety of other specialist engineering and wholesaling businesses.

CEM Fabricated Products is a versatile engineering and fabrication business involved in the design and manufacture of various equipment, including the full range of road & rail tankers, pressure vessels, cryogenic vessels, ISO-framed containers, gas cylinders and above & below ground gas storage vessels. In addition, the business is active in general fabrication type projects, provides specialised heat treatment services and has involvement in various turn-key type projects.

Through the 1970’s – the focus of this manufacturing effort changed from the air gases to LP Gas and for 30 years CEM has been the premier Australian manufacturer of storage tanks and road tankers for this market. Today the company manufactures above ground LPG storage tanks, underground LPG storage tanks, principally for autogas, rigid (bobtail) LPG road tankers and LPG road tanker trailers. Pressure envelopes for the latter are manufactured from high strength, quenched and tempered steel, to minimize tanker weight and maximize tanker capacity, while conforming to all the applicable road regulations.

During the 1980s’ CEM established and acquired several other businesses which today operate under the corporate umbrella. These businesses include the LPG Equipment Supply Division, the SERVEX Equipment Division, the Titanium International Division and the Chemical Plant & Engineering Pty Ltd Division.

In 1995 CEM established a joint venture company, Changzhou CEM Cryo Equipment Co Ltd (CCCE), with a local partner in the city of Changzhou, in the Jiangsu Province of China. CCCE was established to build vacuum insulated cryogenic storage and transportation equipment to service the developing Chinese market for industrial gases. CEM says, $quot;Despite numerous teething difficulties, the business grew strongly to become regarded as the leading manufacturer of cryogenic tankers and one of the leading manufacturers of cryogenic storage tanks in the Chinese market.$quot;

CCCE continued to grow strongly and this was reflected in late 2004 when CEM received an approach from Chart Industries Inc to purchase the business, an eventual sale taking place in May 2005.

Although no longer manufacturing cryogenic equipment, CEM had no intention of departing the Chinese market. A new company, CEM (Changzhou) Special Equipment Co Ltd (CCSE), was established operating out of its former cryogenic manufacturing facility. An additional outcome of the sale of CCCE was the appointment of CEM as the distributor and representative for the cryogenic distribution and storage products of the distribution and storage group of Chart Industries Inc for Australia and New Zealand.

Under this agreement CEM has been highly successful in promoting and selling cryogenic liquid cylinders, vacuum insulated cryogenic storage tanks, including large capacity tanks for LNG storage and vacuum insulated cryogenic road tankers in semi-trailer, B-Double and road train configurations. In the case of the tankers, the cryogenic vessels are purchased from Chart, shipped to Australia and converted into fully conforming, fully registered road tankers, ready to be towed away by the customer’s prime mover.

New opportunities
The most recent addition to the CEM portfolio is the successful appointment of the company as the Australian distributor for the Bestobell Valves and Bestobell LNG range of cryogenic valves, produced by these subsidiaries of the UK based Flow Group.

The company reported, $quot;This is a particularly exciting prospect, offering the opportunity to replicate the success enjoyed by the LPG Equipment business, in providing the Australian market with the high quality range of Bestobell cryogenic valves, backed up by local stocks and high level technical support.$quot;