Business is certainly booming for Equigas – and the family run business believes there is still plenty of opportunities to come as the US industrial gases market continues to grow.

At least that’s what we heard from Rafael Arvelo, General Manager of Equigas, a customer driven family company founded in 1985 for the distribution of gas equipment, for gasworld’s latest In Conversation with… instalment.

“There’s no doubt the US is still a land of opportunities,” he told viewers. “What differentiates us is the service and the passion that we give to our customers.”

“Here in the US, we opened in 2017. We saw there was a weakness on the distribution side of cryogenic equipment, and we definitely filled that gap very quickly.”

Passionate about both his business and the industry he serves today, Arvelo has experienced a crazy couple of years with great headwinds such as the coronavirus pandemic, carbon dioxide shortages and shortages from manufacturers.

But that doesn’t stop his drive to serve the market. “It’s sad to say that we have had great opportunities in 2021 that we have had to say, ‘right now we can’t do it’,” he continued.

“We have been growing very fast and we never want to jeopardise the service that we are providing to our customers, so unfortunately this was a year to adjust, a year to adapt, even though we are growing, we could be above 50% if we had the products on time.”

“Our company has been affected, our customers have been affected, however, we always try to find alternatives so we can keep our customers operating and running their businesses.”

“Having that said, we are preparing for new challenges, we are preparing for new opportunities, we are expanding our portfolio one step at a time and we’re going forward.” 

But what does Arvelo see as those new opportunities? Speaking to gasworld about his thoughts on currently trends, he continued, “What I see is still hydrogen is going to be the next boom here in the US for alternative fuels.” 

“I see a lot of companies, a lot of big corporations making a lot of investments in this sector of hydrogen for alternative fuels.”

“Now, I see hydrogen as I used to see LNG back in 2013 where everybody in the industry, the tank manufacturers, the valve manufacturers, the pumps manufacturers, they were all put putting their bets in the LNG industry.”

“I’m seeing the exact photocopy of what happened in 2013 with LNG, I’m seeing it right now with hydrogen. Many companies are making a large amount of investment to develop new technologies on the hydrogen business here in the US.”

“As we all know, LNG as an alternative fuel has a lot more experience in the international industry, so many companies are still evaluating LNG as the fuel for the fleet because they have a lot more experience, because they feel it’s really safe.”

“Hydrogen still has a lot more to develop and a lot more to show. So, in the meantime, LNG is still going to be having a playing a big role here in the US.”

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