Serving the energy, domestic, construction and agricultural sectors with a growing range of fuel, water, meal and material storage solutions, Platinum Tanks is an industry-leading, family-run business that utilises renewable, sustainable resources to create exceptional products. We headed to Monaghan and spoke to managing director Pat Cassidy to find out more.
Manufacturing an ever-expanding range of domestic oil storage tanks, domestic attic tanks, rainwater harvesting tanks, oil interceptors, coal bunkers and agricultural products from its base in County Monaghan, Platinum Tanks is a rotational moulding company that has been creating sustainable, renewable and environmentally-friendly solutions for domestic oil and water storage since 2006.
The energy sector is very much at the core of the business, which produces state-of-the-art single-skin and bunded oil storage tanks in compliance with EU standard EN13341 as well as diesel and AdBlue storage tanks. Their range of environmentally-friendly bunded oil tanks enables the safe storage of oils and other harmful liquids.
With bunded oil tanks, as spills from the inner tank are contained inside the outer bund, the unintentional release of harmful liquids into the environment around the tank is prevented.
Platinum Tanks also produce a range of water tanks and cost-effective rainwater storage solutions to suit both the domestic and agricultural markets. For the agri sector, they manufacture feeders, drinkers and chemical and meal storage solutions.
Currently generating direct gainful employment for a team of more than 35, supplying high-quality, value-added products to customers island-wide and also exporting into the UK market, Platinum Tanks has come a long way from modest beginnings 16 years ago and continues to go from strength to strength as we speak.
“We’re very busy at the moment, it’s unreal,” notes MD Pat Cassidy, who established the company alongside his wife Michelle. “It’s an ill wind that blows no favour. When Covid hit, oil went to negative equity and 1,000 litres was €200 in June, 2020 – 20cent a litre. It’s now €1,300 and rising for the same quantity of oil but demand remains as strong as ever and, on the back of that, we are very busy.”
Driving the growth of the business is its diversification to provide a vast range of products covering a variety of sectors. “We manufacture a range of plastic storage products, serving the home heating oil, domestic and agri / farm sectors and we have also expanded into renewables with rainwater harvesting tanks and stands for solar panels,” Pat confirms.
“We use recycled material to make these stands and also for coal bunkers. As the plastic has been recycled, this is of benefit to the environment. We also do contract manufacturing for companies who send us their moulds and we manufacture solutions to spec.”
It’s all go at Platinum Tanks these days, with a three-shift working pattern in operation at the modern manufacturing facility in Lough Eglish, which runs 24 hours a day five days per week.
“We’re always developing new products, new ideas and new innovations in response to the needs of the market,” Pat continues. “On top of this, we are constantly looking at existing products and trying to improve them, be this in the home heating or domestic water storage markets. For example, we have developed a range of pressure-booster water tanks for homes where the mains pressure is low.
“We’re also looking at new ideas to make life easier for farmers. I do a bit of farming myself so this is an area I’m familiar with. The age profile of the average farmer in Ireland is 50+ now and we’re trying to come up with solutions which help to reduce the amount of labour required on the farm. We manufacture plastic meal bins, cattle drinkers, drinkers for slatted sheds that don’t need cleaning out, and also a range of teat feeders and troughs.
“As leaks in oil tanks can potentially cause catastrophic damage to the environment, our bunded oils tanks – essentially a tanks within a tank – offer significant benefits. The bulk of oil storage tanks in the Irish Republic at present are single skin, and bunded tanks are a great replacement option. They are available from 650 litres up to 5000 litre capacity.”
Platinum Tanks’ range of bunded oil tanks are manufactured from UV stabilised linear low density polyethylene to protect the product from UV degradation. A standard 1” BSP outlet is extended from the inner oil tank through the bund for ease of installation. The inner tank comes fitted with a gauge bung, which can be removed in order to fit an ultrasonic sensor at a later date. The inner tanks are manufactured to European Standard EN13343.
But for a shortage of labour, Pat could potentially grow the business at an even faster rate. “It’s difficult to get people to do manual labour. Over the past 30 years, as a nation, everybody at school was pushed into college. During the bust between 2007 and 2010, people with trades like blocklayers, plumbers, plasterers and electricians were all dropped. One of the main reasons we have a shortage of houses is that there’s nobody to build them. Because demand is much stronger than supply, prices are going up.”
Despite massive increases in overheads – both the cost of raw materials and energy – Pat says Platinum Tanks are still profitable and getting a fair price for their products. “Our gas bill in August, 2021 was €10,000 for a month and it went up to €40,000 for the same period in 2022. Fortunately, we are locked in on a price with our electricity provider.
“Our delivery costs have also gone up 50% [another way Platinum Tanks keep control of costs is by taking care of their own distribution across the 32 counties]. While input costs have increased, we are looking at what we can control to try to maximise our efficiencies.
“We can control our production facility and our process – how we produce products and how efficient we are. It comes down to producing a quality product as efficiently as possible. Turnover is in excess of €5m and I’m hoping that will rise to €8-10m over the next three-five years.”
Despite the relentless drive towards clean energy, Pat believes there will always be a market for oil and other fossil fuels. “There is still massive demand for oil and I can’t see how it will ever be done away with. Wind and solar power only work at certain times of the year in certain conditions and the bulk of our energy is still produced by burning fossil fuels, which are in abundance.
“If we switch to electric cars, the infrastructure isn’t there to support them so the cars won’t work and neither will households or industry,” says Pat, who is heavily involved in Monaghan GAA. He is currently chairman of Carrickmacross Emmets and is a former club and county footballer. In his capacity as proprietor of Platinum Tanks, he is also a major sponsor of Carrickmacross and Monaghan GAA.
As well as being a big employer in a rural area, Platinum Tanks also support the local community and local charities in any way possible. “We’re a family business, located in Lough Egish, run by locals and looking after locals, with a strong attachment to the GAA and the local community,” Pat concludes.
Platinum Tanks Ltd.,
Lough Egish Business Park,
Tel: 042 9745780 / 81
Fax: 042 9745782
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, January 2023, Vol 9 No 1