Conference day two update - Distribution in focus in the Middle East
Chaired by Air Liquide’s Fouad Haddad, day two of the Middle East Industrial Gases Conference 2011 began with Session 3 and an exploration of gas production and operations in this emerging region.
Richard Goldstein, Sales Director and major shareholder of Taylor Minster Leasing (TML), gave the first presentation of the day and informed delegates of the benefits of leasing cryogenic tank equipment rather than simply buying it.
Seeking to dispel some of the myths associated with acquiring cryogenic tanks, Goldstein alluded to the economic and financial advantages of leasing cryogenic tanks. He explained, “It’s well worth checking your company’s internal systems and fleet management are in shape, you’ll be surprised at how many companies waste money by having equipment laying around idle when it could be put to good use.”
“It’s well worth checking your company’s internal systems and fleet management are in shape, you’ll be surprised at how many companies waste money by having equipment laying around idle when it could be put to good use.”
“It’s important to keep flexible and open-minded. When it’s busy, additional equipment can be added, and when it’s quiet that equipment can be returned. Is it expensive? While accepting that the supplier will always keep the asset, costs can be cheaper than lending from the bank.”
Goldstein also emphasised the significance of leasing tank products during the difficult economic climate that the world currently finds itself in. He noted, “In today’s times of minimal capital availability and constraints on capital expenditure, leasing can be a god-send.”
Hank Grieco, a well-known figure in the industrial and specialty gases business with decades of experience in the field, followed Goldstein and discussed both make vs buy for specialty gases and the currently tight global helium situation.
“When I left BOC in 1982,” he explained, “the volume worldwide was about 1 billion cubic feet. Now it’s around 6 billion cubic feet, so the volume has continued to increase.”
“The difficulty has always been the amount of product sold versus the amount of product produced. Helium is not something you can store permanently other than in gas trailers. So my consideration is that shortages will occur periodically, just as they already do.”
“It’s hoped that the [upcoming Qatar] plant will reduce shortages and problems with allocations. One of the product managers currently at one of the major global helium companies suggested to me that while it was due to come on in 2012, there are often delays with helium start-ups so it may actually come on later than that.”
The VRV Group’s Global Sales and Marketing Director, Michael Blondin, also took to the stage during the morning session, encouraging greater safety in the field of distribution and how this might be attained. Encouraging accident prevention, he commented, “Correct trailer selection is imperative. As just one example of safety in distribution, the correct trailer selection will reduce trailer rollover.”
“World class industrial gas companies lead in safety and set the example in safety. All industrial gas companies are affected by rollovers, and poor equipment design is in fact the cause of rollovers.”
“What can you do? Well, to reduce accidents and deliver on safety goals, it is essential that industrial gas companies ensure training is in place, select routes less prone to accidents, invest in the right equipment, and make the most informed, considered decisions in the approach to distribution safety.”
Guest speaker Stuart Fleming, founding partner and CEO of Enviroserve in the UAE, then moved the discussion toward refrigerant gases and the opportunity that exists for the industrial gas community.
Fleming noted a need to change the mindset and the chance that exists to make the most of refrigerant gases. He urged, “The process of recovery and reclaim is a bolt-on opportunity for the industrial gas companies, it’s another service to offer your clients.”
“The mindset had to change – by turning the valve and releasing gases to the atmosphere, you’re releasing money into thin air. Quite apart from the environmental considerations, the impact, it’s the cost benefits that you can make by effectively operating and utilising refrigerant gases. At Enviroserve, we taught the people to recover refrigerant gases, we went to the next unexpected level; we went to the owners, we went to the municipality, and we tackled corporate ethics.”
“It’s no longer the case that ‘green’ costs you money – green can make you money.”
“The opportunity for some of you, is that at the moment you (possibly) import and/or trade refrigerant gases. You have an ideal opportunity to speak to your client and offer to buy that waste gas, recover and reclaim the refrigerant gas and sell it back to you at a far cheaper rate than the market, in disposable cylinders or ISO tanks.”
“Joint venture with us and let’s move this forward. The volumes might not be as big as some of the other gases you deal with, but the revenues can certainly be very attractive. It’s no longer the case that ‘green’ costs you money – green can make you money.”
Success all around
Meanwhile, gasworld has been overwhelmed with positive feedback and messages conveying the event’s success.
Companies sponsoring the event and promotional booths have experienced great participation throughout, while many have enthused about the location for the conference and choice of venue. In addition, gasworld has once again recognised some of its loyal advertisers and supporters for their commitment to both gasworld magazine and the company’s conferences around the world – with many expressing their delight at the awards they have received.
DataOnline’s Rob Barnacle received one such award and from the sidelines of the conference said, “I am extremely pleased and honoured to receive a recognition award on behalf of DataOnline from gasworld.”
“The conference, as always, has exceeded my expectations and the opportunities opening up for DataOnline in the Middle East makes going into 2012 very exciting.”