Day two of the African Gases Conference 2010 saw delegates rewarded for their long journeys to the region in true gasworld style, with a trio of exemplary presentations.
Chairing the first session was Albert Spencer, Technical Advisor to SACGA. He opened proceedings, “Jambo and Good Morning everybody. The first session this morning is to do with gas production and bulk operations and I expect it to be a very interesting session.”
First to take to the stage was Jim Bowman, President of Rexarc International, Inc. Bowman tackled the complex topic of the economics involved in running acetylene facilities. He began by commending last night’s Carbacid sponsored Gala Dinner, “Good Morning ladies and gentlemen, I hope everybody enjoyed the evening last night, I certainly did. I’d like to thank Carbacid for a great evening and offer congratulations on your 50 years.”
He continued, “The overview today is intended to give you a perspective of the key issues of running an acetylene plant. These can broadly be described as the following. Firstly, you need to consider the transportation and raw material availability, then the key factor of regional labour costs, which can either be positive or negative. There’s another issue - governing bodies- that can often play a major role in project viability. And lastly, you must ascertain what the regional need for acetylene is; it is important to look at different sized plants for different sized needs.”
Bowman proceeded to guide delegates through the various facets of different sized processing plants, from the smaller, labour intensive 301 EMA batch plants, to the high volume, high purity plants which typically offer 136,000m³ annual out-put. Demand for technically orientated presentations is always high on delegates’ agendas and Bowman delivered on all counts.
Continuing this trend was second speaker of the day, Michael Blondin, Sales Director of Cryolor SA who discussed cylinder filling and operation. Blondin offered an equally informative and eloquent address of the advantages of thermosiphon tanks through a case study. He explained the benefits of this innovative technology and also offered a financial run-down of its effects, describing typical cost savings of almost €60,000 per year. Indeed, Desmond Clark, Group CES, Technical & Engineering Manager at AFROX remarked, “It’s just a pity it took a commercial guy to teach engineering guys about cryo-filling!”
The buoyant and technical mood was ongoing through a pre-coffee presentation by Philippe Lartigaud’s, Sales and Marketing Director for Chart Ferox. And thanks to Lartigaud the audience enjoyed an enlightening tour of the distribution logistics associated with ISO Containers.
On returning from coffee, delegates can look forward to a midday session specialising on Applications / End Users. Contributors include Jan Van Houwenhove, Sales Director of VRV, Emmanuel Rurema, Global Sales Manager from Haffmans BV in addition to gasworld’s own Technical Writer, Tony Wheatley who will be turning the focus towards Welding and Cutting.