Having officially opened the event and urged industry optimism throughout, it seems fitting that Spiritus’ John Raquet should provide the closing comments and bring the curtain down on the first gasworld conference of 2009.
The discussion and debate is over for now, but the opportunity to network continues this evening with the cultural evening spectacular, at the Santa Rita Vineyard and kindly sponsored by Indura.
A renewed sense of optimism appears to be in the air, following what has unanimously been seen as a resoundingly successful conference.
Despite the current economic turbulence that grips the globe, attending gasworld delegates have heard how there is still much confidence to be had throughout the industrial gas sector and encouraged to think positive.
Chief among the optimists is John Raquet, Managing Director of Spiritus Consulting and co-founder of gasworld. Raquet provided both a cheerful and keenly anticipated discussion of the global and regional industrial gas business during a busy first day.
Raquet enthused, “It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be difficult but our industry will still grow. Let’s not forget it is a capital intensive business, and I’ve not heard any companies saying they cannot find investment.”
Technology and trends
Day Two meanwhile, has played host to an array of different presentations, all linked by one common theme - Technology and Operational Efficiency Trends.
Dr Roy Irani opened the platform for Discussion and Debate as he explored the world of CNG cylinder technology and developments in cylinder safety testing, followed by a presentation from Weldcoa’s charismatic Hector Villarreal who reviewed Cylinder Filling Optimization.
During the morning’s second session, prominence was placed on a number of suggestions or recommendations from cryogenic equipment producers and distributors.
Arturo Martinez, of Cryogenic Industries, explained how cryogenics have a major role to play in the development of LNG and other alternative fuels. Martinez also cautioned however, that there needs to be a long-term commitment and understanding change is difficult.
Associations and advances
Earlier this afternoon, the final presentations of the day saw attentions turned to the role of a gas associations and pondered the question, does the South America region need a gas association of its own?
Roger Smith, Technical Director for the US’ Compressed Gases Association (CGA), gave an insight into the role of an association and explained how the CGA is active in every aspect of standards and the ongoing development of standards across the US.
This was followed by a presentation from Robert Keller of Indura, who explored the arguments for a South American gas association and reflected from local experience, “So what is the situation in this region? We have companies working all aspects of industry and we have global interests, global activities - but all with a local risk.”
“We have cylinders with the same colour for different gases, we have operational risks. In my very personal opinion, I believe that this does not speak well of us. Our proposal is to generate a local association with all the local players in the region.”
“This would be the South America Gases Association, or in short, SAGA. This would be an eminent organisation for standardising regulations in the region,” he added.
Highlighting the challenge ahead the significance of implementing such an assocaiton, Keller underlined, “Now we have to be very flexible and open minded to work together. We are looking ahead to the next ten years to generate a long term plan.”
“When we implement the safety standards in the region, we will have a safer industry - safer for our companies, for our people, and for our customers.”
The curtain falls
Discussions of Safety in road Transportation and also of Cryogenic Valves were discussed by Cryolor’s Michael Blondin and Herose’s Keith Stewart respectively.
The curtain has finally fallen now though, with Raquet sounding euphoric as he thanked all attendees and again urging a greater sense of sanguinity for the industry throughout 2009 and beyond.
Officially closing the event, he concluded, “I don’t know if many of you remember the A-Team TV programme, I remember it as a kid and I think the colonel in charge used to say, I love it when plan comes together.”
“Well gasworld had a plan to bring the gases community together in South America, which has never been done before. I think the fact that all of you are here means we kind of got it all right.”
“I hope you will go away from here having established new friendships, new relationships and having had some fun as well.”
Catch-up with all the news reports, updates and developments from the conference as it had unfolded, online, through the gasworld blog and comprehensive report updates.