Volume 13 | Issue 1 | Year 2010

Enersul Limited Partnership’s vision initiates forward movement. The company wants nothing less than to be the world’s leading sulfur solutions provider. But some would say the pioneering enterprise already achieved its lofty ambition.
For the record, that “some” would include members of a repeat-business client base comprised of major oil and gas industry players.

Comparisons easily quash lingering doubts. When matched against similar competitors, Canadian-based Enersul (its corporate “brain” resides in Calgary) reveals itself as the only organization that offers premium and comprehensive sulfur forming technology and operations. Advanced equipment, sophisticated services, safety, efficiency, environmentally responsible processing and handling of elemental sulfur – all of these elements characterize this highly motivated organization.

Enersul demands much from itself. Few companies willingly obstacle their own forward path with new business barriers. But Enersul sets them up to knock them down, and that attitude fosters ongoing success.

No doubt, it’s a risky proposition. Any business that self-imposes such a rigorous regimen flirts dangerously with failure. But Enersul has endured for more than a half century. Customer loyalty testifies to success. Enersul’s client base includes international gas and oil titans like Shell and ExxonMobile, and the sulfur marketers that require the most innovative technology.

Few industry observers could dispute Enersul’s global position as the “go to” company for sulfur processing and handling equipment and services. Indeed, statistics state the case: Enersul recently recorded more than 21 million annual tons of installed capacity (sulfur forming and handling capabilities) for gas plants and oil refineries in Asia, the Caribbean, Canada, Europe, Kazakhstan, the Middle East, South Africa, and the United States.

Enersul positively positioned itself within a large scheme. More than 80 percent of the world’s sulfur comes from the refining of oil and gas. Sulfur is removed as a molten liquid and then processed into a solid form that requires safe and responsible handling. Current sulfur forming processes divide into two categories: premium, or GX granulation, and non-premium which includes wet prilling. Enersul not only has patented the GX granulation system, but it also boasts experience in the design and operation of all requisite processes applied to industrial and commercial applications.

“It all started in 1950,” says Enersul’s Director of Sales and Marketing Paul Crawford, reflecting on a half century of experience, garnered expertise and technical innovation. “We began with sulfur handling and then sought ways to better transport sulfur to the market. The timing coincided with sulfur moving beyond oil and gas refining states. Something new had to be done.”

For Enersul customers, “something new” indicated the path to the future.

At the outset, Enersul was based in Alberta, Canada and known as Vennard & Ellithorpe. Steady ascent exemplified subsequent development. In 1952, it gained its first operating contract, for the movement of crushed bulk sulfur from Shell’s Alberta-based gas plant. In 1969, the company realized a major milestone when it patented a sulfur slating process. “Slating was the first crude form of solid elemental sulfur,” says Crawford.

A year later, Enersul established slating plant operations at Shell’s Waterton, Alberta facility. In 1972, Procor Limited purchased Vennard & Ellithorpe and its subsidiaries. Seven years later, the acquired company established two plants that deployed its trademarked GX Granulation process.

From 1980 to 1994, Procor – or Procor Sulphur Services Inc., as it came to be known – sold forming plants to customers throughout the world. In 1998, the company changed its name to Enersul Limited Partnership.

Now part of the Marmon Group, a Berkshire Hathaway international business conglomerate with units in diverse business sectors, Enersul provides integrated offerings (technologies, products, operating services) to the sulfur industry. A comprehensive enterprise, its menu extends from soup to nuts (i.e., from production to consumption).

To enhance its value, in 2004, Enersul reorganized itself into two clearly defined business units: technologies and operations. The Enersul Operations unit provides management expertise for all phases of sulfur processing operating contracts, while Enersul Technologies offers a full range of sulfur processing equipment.

Specifically, within its Operations segment, Enersul has nine sulfur processing operations, eight in Western Canada and one in the Middle East (Qatar). “We work at the client site and provide the expertise,” informs Crawford.

And with positive impact: At these nine plants, the combined annual throughput in recent years has approached 3.5 million ton levels.

The segment’s experiential depth, and its reputation, remains unmatched and unique. “As our customers focus on core business concerns, we focus on providing the strategic solutions that meet their challenges,” says Crawford.

The resulting long-standing relationships with leading sulfur producers cultivated Enersul’s leadership position.

Meanwhile, within its Technologies business segment, Enersul offers the necessary equipment related to the formation of solid and liquid sulfur, indicates Crawford. Enersul provides block forming (towers, forms, pins) and re-melters. “The block-forming equipment pours sulfur into large blocks and the re-melting equipment transitions it into the liquid state,” he adds.

The Technologies segment also provides de-gassing equipment that removes dangerous levels of H2S from liquid sulfur. In addition, Enersul excels in comprehensive material handling services (conveying, storage and load-out systems), engineering concepts and design and supervising construction for all types of sulfur storage and transport systems.

According to the company, with an Enersul-designed on-site storage system, forming plant managers have the flexibility to pace their output to suit their own customer demand, shipment availability and maintenance schedules. To go along with its full range of bulk transporting and handling options, Enersul can also provide bulk storage facilities that minimize product degradation and fugitive dusting.

Enersul further distinguishes itself with project management capabilities: front-end engineering design studies, sulfur solution and implementation and cost analysis, technical audits of sulfur forming and handling facilities (condition, maintenance, upgrading), detailed engineering (mechanical, structural, process) and electrical, instrumentation and control, piping, construction advisory services, and PLC/HMI programming, according to Crawford.

As the company indicates, the Operations and Technologies units spin into each other to engender what the company describes as a Circle of Excellence. “Each business side supports and enables the other,” says Crawford. “This extends from technology to operations and even our research and development activities.”

And the circle is tight, the company informs. Technological excellence leads to operational excellence. As this circle tightens, Enersul listens to customers, with feedback fostering ongoing refinement of methods. But no matter the time, place or customer, the result is always the same – an original and complete sulfur solution.

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