The third, and final day, of Cryogen-Expo arrived, nevertheless both visitors and exhibitors were eager to maximise the opportunity. Likewise, gasworld seized the chance to forge some final interviews.
As it was the closing day, it seemed pertinent to turn the spotlight on Russia and in particular the defining features of this unique market. Fortunately, WITT Gastechnik and the German firm, Linde, offered some valuable perspectives.
Alexey Borodulin, Regional Manager for East Europe at WITT began by telling gasworld the value of the region. $quot;The Russian market is quite significant to Linde's turnover as a whole. I wouldn't say it is one of our biggest markets, as Germany owns that title, but generally we see that our company generates about 60% of its profit and turnover abroad. Russia is one of the most significant markets in Europe, outside of Germany.$quot;
While logistics differ from one country to the next, it does seem clear that Russia is no different in terms of applications, certainly in WITT's case. Borodulin continued, $quot;The main applications globally are the same as in Russia - welding and cutting together with the food industry.$quot;
$quot;However, the Russian market does and doesn't offer different challenges in comparison to other markets. For us it is really convenient because we have a reliable partner in the Russian market that's why we do not have to worry about bureaucracy, customs clearance and such. So having a partner makes it really easy for us. That's why we can concentrate on the new technology, the new solutions. And that's also why we can concentrate on educating our partner.$quot;
A subsequent discussion with Andreas Arne, the Chief Representative of CIS at Linde, reiterated Borodulin's observations. Arne commented, $quot;This market is very important to us because new technologies like petrochemical technologies are developing very quickly compared with the rest of the world.$quot;
Linde also benefits from regional partnerships, as Arne described, $quot;The challenge of working in Russia versus other countries is that the market will probably grow and the big challenge is also the project execution in the Russian Federation, or CIS.$quot;
$quot;In the situation of turnkey contracts, we benefit from experience when it comes to engineering and procurement as well as distribution. It is a field which we are extremely competent in and can control. But when it comes to the local erection, construction and commissioning, we need to work with local companies. Likewise, these companies have a slightly different mentality and the project management of these schemes is a very big challenge - you need to have local experience and knowledge.$quot;
Which might explain why so many attendees have described Cryogen-Expo 2010 as 'mandatory'. Nevertheless, what became absolutely clear as the day drew to close, was the amount of enthusiasm surrounding Russia and its potential as an emerging region.
Indeed, delegates visited the gasworld stand from as far a field as Slovakia, the US and the Netherlands, all illustrating the broad and growing appeal of this yearly event and this emerging market.
A full-length write-up will feature shortly in the international gasworld magazine. In the meantime, 'dos vedanya' from Cryogen-Expo 2010.