LP Gas

Connecticut propane retailer adds bulk storage

Preferred Propane, based in Vernon, Conn., added two 30,000-gallon storage tanks to its facility.

The propane company has six 30,000-gallon storage tanks at its facility for a total capacity of 180,000 gallons. With the additional storage, Roland Violette, Preferred Propane’s general manager, says he estimates this site might be one of the largest propane storage facilities in Connecticut.

“We added the two extra tanks in hopes of leasing them to a larger firm to grow in the area,” Violette says. “Until then, we will use them for ourselves, which will really help take out the worry of winter shortages. I’ll be able to offer a better deal to customers this winter.”

Violette says the storage tank installation process took three weeks this summer. He says Hiltz Propane Systems Inc. helped install and paint the new tanks.

Preferred Propane, a six-person company that launched in 2008, began adding storage to the Vernon-based facility in 2011. Violette says he leases two of the company’s six tanks to a larger propane company. Being a smaller and newer propane company, he adds that he was able to provide propane to a few companies during the winter of 2013-14 because of the excess storage at his site.

“Even today, I still try to help [other propane companies], as we are all in the business of keeping good press about propane overall,” Violette says. “If a competitor cannot get product, it hurts our entire industry in the public’s view, especially when our common goal is to convert oil and electric heat customers to propane.”

Although Violette says he is uncertain whether he will add more storage in the future, he hopes he can grow his company’s propane business to allow for that opportunity. Preferred Propane is the sister company to Ellington Oil and Violette Mechanical, an HVAC company.