gasworld’s Europe Industrial Gas Summit 2021 is underway in its virtual form, with discussions and debate surrounding a dynamic new era of Europe’s industrial gases business and the new chapters being written in the region’s industrial gas playbook.

Across Europe, there are new pockets of application growth, exciting new funding and opportunities in energy and decarbonisation, and the playing field has also been shaken up by well documented M&A activity of recent years.

The March of Digital Technologies and Industry 4.0 is also changing the face of the market, its business models and operations, all of which adds up to a dynamic new era Europe’s gases business, and the stage for gasworld’s virtual gathering of insights and innovations today (27th April).

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Opening keynote, Eduardo Gil Elejoste, President of Nippon Gases Europe, kicked off by focusing on the role the industrial gases industry has had during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and how Nippon Gases Europe has altered its operations during such a challenging time. 

“During the worst peaks of the pandemic, the meaning of uninterrupted 24/7 supply has been more significant and more sensitive than ever,” he said. “At Nippon Gases, we’ve maintained our operational discipline through the year, and this is shown through our safety performance last year.”

“We [Nippon Gases Europe] created new hygiene and organisational procedures for the safe operations of our plants, and we have kept all our plants running. We have supplied every need of every customer, especially hospitals and patients, even in the worst days of the pandemic. We sent home everybody that could work from home - this is more than one third of our employee population – and we did this very fast all whilst our systems proved robust and worked.”

“We’ve [Nippon Gases Europe] stayed in contact with our customers, suppliers and partners through remote conferencing technologies and have learned very fast that it works. We’ve been transforming our company, making it more advanced and efficient. We have managed our lives and our company through the pandemic storm, protecting our employees and their families, our customers and suppliers, as well as other stakeholders.”

Looking at the industrial gases community as a whole, Elejoste continued, “Industrial gases companies and industrial gases associations work hard with the different authorities and governmental bodies across Europe to make sure that vital gases and services were always available and there where they were needed. Major industry associations like AIGA and CGA published specific documents to support the industry in the supply of oxygen in emergency situations.”

“More than one year later after this all started, it is not yet over. But with the vaccination progressing, not everywhere at the right speed but progressing, we’re starting to hear more and more of the upcoming and new roaring twenties.”

“Now that the world is overcoming the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, sort of a medieval plague that nobody thought could happen to us, the world is ready for its time of tremendous economic and social growth, that should bring us in great shape through a new roaring twenties and up to 2030.”

Climate objectives

Focusing on 2030, and what a significant year it is for Europe, Elejoste said, “2030 is one of the most mentioned milestones lately with the 2030/2050 climate objectives of the European Union, which mean 55% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 and neutrality by 2050 with a basis in 1990.”

“A very relevant executive of our industry said not so long ago, with the industrial gases are part of the solution to get there, too. Today, they are part of the solution and we have been part of the solution for many years already.”

“We, the industrial gases companies, know the properties of CO2 and hydrogen, and know how to deal with them in a safe and efficient way, thus allowing us to bring this knowledge to the CO2 emitters as well as to all those that will be using hydrogen in the future to reduce their carbon footprint. We, the industrial gases companies, have been implementing technologies at many different industries with the objective of reducing combustion emissions already before I joined this industry, and that is a long while ago.”

“And we, the industrial gases companies, have been providing technologies for water and wastewater treatment, as well as many other industrial gases applications, to reduce energy consumption and or reduce the need for increased capacity and consequently reduce carbon footprint for the end users. So we have been helping to help our hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce our carbon footprint and consequently we are helping the society as a whole.”

Focusing more on the role Nippon Gases Europe is playing to help reduce its carbon emissions, Elejoste then went on to discuss the company’s energy usage reduction target, sustainable development goals and more. “We [Nippon Gases Europe] aim to create social value for innovative solutions that increase in productivity and hence human well-being and contribute to a more sustainable future,” he enthused.

gasworld’s Europe Industrial Gas Summit 2021 continues throughout the rest of the day and we will be bringing you, our readers, snippets of some of those sessions. Be sure to catch all the content at gasworld.com, and watch live to make sure you don’t miss out.