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Rhinokore Composite Solutions LP: Engineered Tough
Rhinokore Composite Solutions LP (RCS) is an internationally renowned manufacturer of composite solutions. The company’s Canadian headquarters is in Calgary, Alberta, but RCS also owns a facility in Armstrong, British Columbia, where teams design and manufacture materials for construction and transportation industry leaders.
A majority of RCS business is in supplying massive tanks to oil companies for drilling operations. These companies use a technique referred to as hydraulic fracturing, known as hydrofracking. RCS has developed products using a lightweight but incredibly strong material that is easily transportable and can hold upward of 2.5 million litres of water. “That’s a big swimming pool,” says Graham Ducharme, president of RCS’s Canadian operations.
Ducharme’s group bought out the company in November 2011, but he says the business has been in existence for around three years. “It’s only been a matter of months, but we’ve made some significant changes in products and introduced new lines,” says Ducharme. “It’s going pretty well.”
Ducharme has a background in the oil field business; he is the previous owner of Century Oilfield Services, a fracking company out of Calgary. While developing new technologies to control flow back, Ducharme was shopping around for tanks to contain this by-product of the business. “I came across Rhinokore and we like the product, so we bought the company,” he says.
Strength in All Sizes
RCS composite frac-tanks measure at 160-feet long by 40-feet wide and stand 12-feet high. The tanks are made up of composite panels 100-percent manufactured by RCS. “We manufacture our panels, rent them directly to oil and gas companies and set them up ourselves,” Ducharme says of the entirely self-performed business.
With such an involved build process, Ducharme says, “You’ve got to have good quality control.” The systems are modular, meaning the tanks are assembled from panel components on-site. The transportability of RCS products saves time and money for the business and its clients, while simultaneously reducing the environmental effects impacted by extensive transportation.
The composite RCS uses to create its tanks and mats is an ultrastrong material made of a combination of oil derivative plastics. “It’s like a titanium plastic,” Ducharme explains. “Our product is stronger than steel and one-seventh the weight.”
Composites have been around for a long time, but Ducharme says it is a growing trend in the construction and oil industries. Like many plastic products, RCS composite tanks are built using a mold to form panels. The process also turns out mats used as stabilizing platforms, ground covers and protection applications. Other applications include marine docks, bridge decking and flooring in aircrafts and trains. “It’s an incredible product, there’s no doubt,” Ducharme affirms.
Frac-tanks are available in a number of sizes and materials, but Ducharme stands by RCS’ product as the best on the market. RCS works with nearly all oil companies with drilling operations in Canada, and Ducharme says, “There are definitely other tanks available, but ours is the only composite frac-tank on the market.”
Aside from RCS composite’s lightweight and hyper-strength, the company’s products have a number of advantages over the options offered by competing tank manufacturers. The adaptable systems save time, money and environmental impact. RCS tank’s size, weight, strength and modularity improve the efficiency, safety and cleanliness of oil field drill sites.
During cold winters many drilling operations using standard steel tanks lose enormous amounts of money keeping water supplies heated. RCS tanks offer significantly more insulation and often require no heating energy at all in addition to reducing the amount of chemicals used to keep water from freezing. The same design advantage that offers insulation also adds durability. RCS tanks use a liner, meaning that if any individual panel is compromised by accident or by vandalism, the tank continues to hold water. Even with such a complex design, set-up time for these composite tanks is one day and they can be dismantled and hauled off in half the time.
RCS has major growth planned for the future. “There’s a billion-dollar potential in this business, and we’re growing,” Ducharme says. The company also has a rental and service office in Houston, Texas, allowing RCS to service all of North America. As RCS’ services expand and composite frac-tanks catch on in the industry, Ducharme wants to see more manpower at the plant. “As we grow, which we will do, massively on the manufacturing end, we’ll be hiring a lot more people,” he plans. RCS Canada currently employs 40 to 50 people.
Using nontraditional materials and a patented process, RCS’s products offer strength-to-weight ratios well in excess of industry standards. This lightweight strength, combined with an unprecedented insulation value of up to R40 and an extremely durable nonabsorbing exterior, makes RCS the first choice for improved efficiency, greater versatility and reduced ecological impacts.
Rhinokore Composite Solutions LP is revolutionizing products, processes and operations across the resource, manufacturing and environmental sectors and continues to identify and develop new applications and products at every turn.