OnGas Papakura Bottle Swap plant

Case Studies


The new Bottle Swap plant at Hunua Road in Papakura was built to fulfil the market need and demand for OnGas bottles around the country. It’s been operating since August 2017 and was officially opened early February 2018. The project took 5 years to deliver and is capable of processing around 65% of the total NZ market for 9kg swap bottle (typically used for BBQs). 

About the Plant

As the first upper-tier major hazard facility built under the rigorous Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016, the Papakura Bottle Swap Plant is proof that with the right thinking, you can flip an inherently unsafe work environment into one which workers are proud to operate. 

The plant is a model of careful design where health, safety, environment and wellbeing issues have been improved across the board, and centralised for maximum control. Far from laying out a set of mitigations to specific risks, the new OnGas plant has designed out those risks as far as possible and in doing so, has demonstrated a new paradigm in how major hazard facilities should be conceived. 

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General Manager of OnGas, Brenda Talacek
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Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, ACC and Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway (left), and Vector Group chief executive Simon Mackenzie.
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Bottle Swap Plant Manager Phil Thompson introducing the facility to Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, ACC and Immigration and Vector Group CEO Simon Mackenzie
This innovative plant is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is part of the transformation of NZ's energy sector.

Minister Iain Lees-Galloway


Operational and Occupational Safety Improvements

Requirement for manual lifting is reduced by 80 per cent due to a new automated system; this reduces manual handling steps from 21 to now 3. Overall, process safety has been addressed through a range of new engineering, design and product supply solutions that were possible with the new build. 


Increased Capacity 

Production capacity at the plant is double the prior capacity across several sites combined, and is capable of processing 600 bottles per hour. Alongside this there is greater control over the health and safety outcomes through the stages of gas bottle emptying, testing, painting, filling, and refurbishment.

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What makes it unique

Ideal case study for how can do work safely. Vector has become the first New Zealand Upper Tier Major Hazard Facility to have a safety case accepted, covering the OnGas Papakura plant, and consequently has set the standard for other major hazard facilities around New Zealand in terms of both process and occupational safety.

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