ZCL Composites Inc. is entering the U.S. market for composite underground fuel storage tanks and related products.
ZCL, based in Edmonton, Alberta, set up a joint venture in Minneapolis headed by John Steinbergs, a cofounder and former president of Xerxes Corp., a major player in the U.S. market.
ZCL owns 51 percent of ZCL-USA Inc. and MSP Technologies Corp. of Minneapolis owns the rest. The joint venture will market ZCL's Prezerver line of double-wall, glass-fiber-reinforced polyester fuel tanks based on isophthalic acid resins, the firm's Phoenix System of FRP linings for existing fuel tanks, and fluid-handling systems, ZCL announced Sept. 29.
ZCL claims its Prezerver tank is the dominant type used in Canadian oil and gas companies' retail networks. The company offers a warranty ``that effectively eliminates environmental risk for ZCL customers.'' ZCL-USA's launch coincided with the Petroleum Equipment Institute's three-day trade show that started Sept. 30 in Minneapolis.
Steinbergs left Xerxes several years ago and only recently did his noncompete clause expire, according to Chantal Cote, ZCL spokeswoman. In addition to being president of ZCL-USA, Steinbergs also is founder and chairman of Containment Technologies Corp., which supplies flexible piping and related accessories for the petroleum industry.
ZCL-USA will source products from ZCL plants in Drummondville, Quebec, and Belleville, Ontario, but eventually might build a plant in the southern United States. Its Edmonton facility is too far from major U.S. markets to supply them economically.
ZCL had sales of C$59.6 million (US$43.1 million) for the year ended March 31. Its profit was C$38,000 (US$27,500). It trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
ZCL recently announced it is planning a joint venture in the Philippines that initially will be able to manufacture about 1,000 tanks per year. The company probably will locate the plant near Manila, Cote said. ZCL signed a memorandum of understanding with businessman and engineer Nauman Umar, who will hold 10 percent of ZCL Philippines Inc. by investing C$500,000 (US$362,000) in the new company.