Preparations are complete, as one of the most progressive events on the UK gases industry’s calendar is about to take place, promising a number of major breakthroughs for 2010.

The Marriot Worsley Park Hotel and Country Club in Manchester, UK will be the welcoming venue for The British Compressed Gases Association’s (BCGA) 2010 Conference, set to take place just as gasworld’s May magazine hits desks around the world.

And there’s certainly plenty to look forward to this year, as the conference provides a whole host of major ‘firsts’ and announces several breakthroughs for the UK gases scene.

Perhaps the most notable of which, is the significant safety progress achieved with colour coding of certain UK gas cylinders. As delegates will discover during the conference, the BCGA has managed to instigate change with the agreement that there is to be change to the colour coding of cylinder bodies. The industry has collectively agreed that in future, all medical gas cylinders in the UK will carry uniformed white bodies.

In addition, the HSE will be in attendance at the event this April to accelerate this change, seen as a big coup for the BCGA and its efforts.

Acetylene safety
Another area where the association’s efforts have not gone unnoticed is where acetylene cylinder safety and fire hazards are concerned – an ongoing issue for the industrial & compressed gases industry. This is a topic that the BCGA has continued to raise throughout the years and the association is now ready to deliver news of considerable progress.

Respected, regular BCGA speaker Gary Gunyon, London Fire Brigade (LFB) Group Commander and present Head of LFB’s Hazardous Material and Environmental Protection (HMEP) Group, will join BCGA Chief Executive Doug Thornton on stage to discuss the progress of BAM research into acetylene and associated incidents.

Further still, Thornton told gasworld that in October 2009 the fire service finally acknowledged the BCGA’s view on the cold impact of (acetylene) cylinders – a development that the association will discuss further at the conference in Manchester.

This year’s conference is held on 15th April and moves to its Manchester venue after previous success in Oulton Hall, Leeds (2008) and Staverton Park, Daventry (2009) with the BCGA opting to freshen-up proceedings for 2010.

Notable external representation has been secured and these will include the Hydrogen Association, EIGA, VOSA, and the Carbon Capture & Storage Association.

Coverage of REACH will now be covered in Steve Elliott’s presentation rather than it’s original scheduling in TC2, while the BCGA also introduces a new ‘green’ string to its bow with the presentation of TSC8, a new environment-focused technical committee. Hydrogen fuel cell announcements are expected, as well as some other ‘quite exciting developments’ from the committee, Thornton notes.

Evening entertainments will conclude an informative and enjoyable day’s work, as is customary for the annual BCGA conference.

Thornton concluded, “I’m pleased that in four years at BCGA we have managed to re-enliven it, becoming much better connected and, I hope, more influential. It’s also become much more fun. I hope we can take this development further as we go forwards and I have some ideas in that direction – watch this space!”