Industrial gases, bulk gases, contract filling, and cylinders: These are the four main pillars of business for Pro Gases UK Limited (Pro Gases), a family run business which in the last couple of years has expanded and grown, having entered the industrial gases market.

Based in the Northwest of England, Pro Gases’ story dates back over 40 years ago when Michael Donovan made his first move into the gas industry – and since then, the tale of what was once a small family business, has evolved into an essential firm for UK-based businesses who rely upon beverage and industrial gases.

Here, gasworld sits down exclusively with William Donovan, Managing Director at Pro Gases, to discuss the company’s story, the exciting new venture into industrial gases, its core offering, and future plans.

It goes without saying that business is booming for Pro Gases. Even amid great headwinds, such as the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) and the carbon dioxide (CO2) shortage, the company has continued to invest, grow, and deliver.

“Over the last two years, Pro Gases has invested heavily in its gas facilities and capabilities, now with an impressive site containing four large gas vessels with a 125-tonne capacity (CO2, nitrogen, argon, and oxygen), storage facilities and a fleet of gas road tankers,” Donovan explained to gasworld.

“The move into industrial gases has come very naturally for Pro Gases, as we have the capabilities and resources to access, store and supply industrial gases. We have taken the opportunity to enter the market as we noticed a lack of small, independent companies able to supply the increasing demand.”

“Being independent has many benefits for us as a business and for our customers. It means we are not as influenced by external factors that can cause unwanted increases in prices, as well as delays. Our aim is to keep our costs down, so we can keep our prices extremely competitive for customers.” 

Donovan continued “Pro Gases’ core offering focuses on bulk gases and contract filling for beverage and industrial gases, as well as wholesale cylinders. Our bulk bio-CO2 and argon service provides large volumes of gas to customers sites at one time, which is a more economical way for customers to buy gas. We use our own gas vessels located at the headquarters and our own road tankers which allows us to supply our customers promptly and cost-effectively.”

“We also service businesses with contract filling or one-off gas refills in argon, CO2, nitrogen, helium, oxygen and mixed gases. We use premium gases and cylinders that are tested to industry standard, providing assurance for our customers in safety and quality.”

Pro Gases boasts an impressive customer base, from the likes of Travis Perkins to Carlsberg Marston’s and many more. “We deliver gases to businesses large and small in many industries such as brewing, manufacturing, engineering, marine, oil and gas, agriculture, and food and beverage for example. Our services are easily tailored to the needs of specific industries.”

Covid-19, CO2 shortages, demand and supply

Covid-19 and CO2: the two c’s that have rocked the industry this year (among other factors). But how have these factors effected Pro Gases? That’s exactly what gasworld asked Donovan. “It’s a volatile time for the industry and we have all been impacted by Covid-19, and the CO2 shortage in one way or another,” he responded.

“On Covid-19, the beverage side of the business was impacted as pubs and restaurants were closed, but aside from that we fortunately made it through unscathed. Moving forward, I expect demand to increase as the economy picks up – particularly in industrial gases as production and manufacturing reaches pre-pandemic levels.”

“Every year we unfortunately see CO2 shortages and I expect this to continue, and possibly get worse in coming years. In conjunction with this we have the unfortunate issue of global warming which will also start to have an impact on traditional methods of producing CO2 which is particularly harmful to the environment. I see bio-CO2 as a solution, as it provides a renewable, sustainable, and green way of producing CO2 all year round. Pro Gases uses bio-CO2 for this reason, and we expect to see this increasing in demand next year.”

“Pro Gases fortunately has been using bio-CO2 as a source of CO2 for years. Due to this, we haven’t been impacted too greatly by the shortage. With our supply of bio-CO2 during this time, we made sure we can supply our regular customers, and where we have spare, we have helped businesses that have been struggling to continue their day-to-day business operations. We are big advocates for bio-CO2, and hope businesses soon learn the benefits and assurance it can provide them,” Donovan continued.

What’s to come

When asked by gasworld what’s next, Donovan was enthusiastic about the future, and the business growth that is undoubtably going to occur as the company continues to focus on establishing itself in industrial gases and working with some exciting partners.

As a finishing note, Donovan said, “We do what we do because we believe we help equip businesses with the gases they need to succeed. Pro Gases has come a long way and 2022 will be a big year for us. I am looking forward to sharing more news with your readers in the future.”