The curtain has now fallen on the Europe Conference 2018, following a day of debate and discussion centred around Distributive LNG.

The 100-years-old former building of the Dutch Stock Exchange, the Beurs van Berlage Conference Centre, has been the venue for the targeted gathering here in the iconic city of Amsterdam.

More than 150 key stakeholders in the hydrogen and LNG business have joined the gasworld team over the last two days to hear all about the clean energies transition, which included speeches from 19 industry experts and 22 promotional booths on display.

After the first day was dedicated to tackling the evolving Hydrogen Economy and what that means in 2018, day two focused on Distributive LNG and where the opportunities are in this business.

Img 2469

Distributive LNG

Opening day two with the Official Keynote Address was Johann Knijp, Country Manager for DNV GL Oil & Gas in the Netherlands, who enthused, “LNG is already available today and it seems to me to be the perfect fuel to make the first start of the energy transition. It has low CO2 emissions and it’s already available everywhere in every region in the world and it’s price competitive in every region in the world as well. That makes LNG a step forward for today.”  

“Actually I’m feeling a little bit in between as we discussed yesterday hydrogen and today we are talking about distributive LNG.  Looking back to yesterday’s hydrogen session, we discussed a lot actually the visibility of the business cases which seems to be a little bit far away for hydrogen yet and there was a need for more cars on the road. This will be different today as we discuss LNG. The LNG market is more mature, there is some technology readily available and LNG is ready for today. It is the future fuel ready for today.”

Session 3 distributive lng amended

First to present was gasworld’s Global Managing Editor, Rob Cockerill. Under the title Synergies, Strength and Here to Stay: LNG and the Gases Industry, Cockerill set the scene for the day and said, “Today, there is arguably more momentum in the clean energies transition than ever before. We have ambitious, but equally imperative goals to meet in our efforts to combat climate change. At the same time, there is a dependence on fossil fuels to be broken as we move towards a cleaner, greener and more diversified energy future.”

“The Hydrogen Economy is clearly going to be an integral part of that future, and there definitely seems to be a real sense of momentum now in the hydrogen economy. We heard much about that exciting movement yesterday. But as all of us here today will know, LNG will be no less important to the expansive energy landscape of tomorrow – and we have already seen this grow in importance in the gases industry over the last decade.”

Cockerill reflected on how the growth in the LNG business has been mirrored by gasworld’s own coverage through the years and concluded, “LNG still isn’t an industrial gas. I think it’s fair to say it doesn’t have quite the same level of hype as hydrogen, in our industry or beyond. But it certainly is topical, and it is – potentially – big business for the industrial gas and equipment industry.”

“We see synergies, we see momentum, and we see opportunities. There are opportunities for suppliers, service providers, and of course the technology innovators…and in the words of one of our speakers later today, LNG is here to stay.”

“The LNG industry is a mature industry” said Edgar Kuipers, Investment Director at Broadview Holding BV, as he took to the stage to discuss the current state of play in Europe for LNG distribution.

“It’s a very large industry the total volume sold in 2017 was around 300 million tonnes and the value of that product would be around 100 billion dollars. The industry is growing very rapidly and so of the coming 2/3 years another 100 million tonnes will come into the market and from there the predictions is it will grow. So a very, very big industry. However we have not come to talk about the big industry we have come to talk about a tiny, tiny part of that industry and that is distributive LNG.” 

Most of the energy Johann told you about already is about intercontential transport from the big gas regions to the big market. From there it is vapourised and goes into the pipeline. For a tiny, tiny part particularly in the fuel sector only gets it redistributed in smaller parcels to be brought to much smaller customers and that’s what we call distributive LNG and that’s what we talk about here today.” 

“Although it’s a tiny part, it gets a lot of attention. If you look in the presentations of the big LNG players like Shell you see that at least in my view this distributive LNG gets a disproportionate amount of attention against the amount of revenues. The reason it gets the attention is because this industry is first growing even faster than the global industry itself. Secondly, the size of price is massive. So this could be in 10/15 years time a significant part of that overall global industry and that;s why it gets a lot of attention. so not what it is today but what it could portentially be in 10 years. They will see that shift happen.”

Cryo Advise Owner Jan van Houwenhove looked at the Markets for Distributive LNG and outlined the challenges the LNG industry is facing. He told delegates, “Firstly, basic knowledge is needed. Training on cryogenics versus oil based fuels is needed by these end users, specifically in the transport industry. The supply chain for small scale LNG is very capital intensive and it’s an issue and a challenge.” 

“Standardisation is needed in the industry. Most of the projects are based upon good practices. I’d like to make reference to the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA). The Europe industrial gas companies are very organised in Europe under EIGA where incidents and accidents and safety reports are made and where recommendations are written and standardisation is set. This is something for the small and mid-scale LNG that is not existing at this moment and it’s something that we are in need of.” 

“Finally, the set-up of the complete LNG supply chain is still in development. As in industrial gases, it is highly dependent upon the size of the customer, what type of supply chain solution is placed.”

Session 4 distributive lng technologies

Distributive LNG Technologies

Kicking off session four was Cryostar President Samuel Zouaghi who presented 10 Years of LNG as a Fuel in Europe

He highlighted, “Firstly, I’d like to say thank to gasworld for having me here today. gasworld has tasked me with a difficult mission of chairing the last session of the last day of the last topic with the last few people. So I want to thank your bravery for being here with us.”

“So, the last session will revolve around equipment suppliers and we’ll hear about fuelling stations, pumps, valves, storages, steps. Us equipment suppliers like to call it ‘this is where the magic happens, this is what’s going on behind the scene so that logistics and value chains can actually operate and function.” 

“Before we start I’d like to paraphrase a little bit what I heard this morning. We talked a lot about hydrogen yesterday which is particularly fascinating. Every time we hear about hydrogen we can’t wait to see it materialise. But the frustration we have with hydrogen and I’ve been seeing at hydrogen conferences for the last 50 years is that we tend to see the same slides. 50 years ago we said by 2030, five years ago we said by 2040 and yesterday I saw 2050. So, I can’t wait to see this thing actually materialise.” 

“As Johann said this morning, LNG is here now. It’s happening. We’re seeing it in our everyday lives. As far as Cryostar is concerned we’ve been involved in LNG for about 25 years. Today LNG is roughly half of our revenues, 3 years ago it was 65% of our revenues and this stage we’re going very fast. So that’s the message to industrial gas equipment suppliers that there is an actual business model there that works in LNG and that makes it extremely attractive if we value the expertise that we gather in industrial gas.” 

Next up was Zdenek Machala, Projects Director at Chart Ferox, who talked about Building the Energy Future through LNG followed by ACD’s Europe Sales Manager, Brice Lemaire, who outlined Cryogenic Pumps.

The final speaker was Eike Doelschner, Chief Technology Officer at Herose, who covered Cryogenic Valves.

gasworld founder and CEO John Raquet officially closed the event by thanking all speakers, sponsors and delegates, and concluded, “We’ve heard a lot of views and information about both the Hydrogen Economy and Distributive LNG. We have now shed more light on the subject which was one of our aims and we hope that over the last two days you have not only have you learnt something new but it’s also been thought provoking. If we combine both industries and work together collaborating we will achieve the development we have been hearing about over the last two days. I hope you have all found the conference valuable.”

Delegates had more time to network and explore the dedicated promotional booths following a fine dining and networking lunch sponsored by Prima LNG.

Full review

A full review of the Europe Conference 2018 will be published in the upcoming June edition of gasworld magazine.

gasworld conferences will return later in the year with the Global Helium 3.0 in Houston, Texas from 3rd to 4th October (2018) and also the Asia-Pacific Industrial Gas conference 2018 in Malaysia from 3rd to 5th December.

For more information, contact Abbey Stones at +44 1872 225031 or abbey.stones@gasworld.com.