I distinctly remember a much more youthful version of myself working on our 100th issue of gasworld magazine, and indeed being interviewed alongside our intrepid founder and Publisher John Raquet, and thinking ‘wow, what an achievement’.

We wanted to push the boat out in celebrating that milestone with our great audience, our advertisers and supporters – and we put a lot of effort into a special edition, perhaps a collector’s edition! At that time, we were also coming hot off the heels of our acquisition of CryoGas International in the US, which we would later go on to rebrand to gasworld US Edition to great success. It was a definitely a buoyant time for us all and for the industrial gases industry itself too; we were post-recession, post-green shoots of recovery and the industry was firmly on the up once more.

I couldn’t have imagined what the next 100 issues, the next near-decade might have in store for us all. We might say, who could, particularly where the Covid-19 pandemic has been concerned? Back then, reflecting on our first century of magazines, it was my 74th issue and so much had already evolved at both gasworld and an industry level.

“This is the 74th issue I’ve been involved in since joining gasworld in the summer of 2007, so I’m delighted to see the magazine reach such a milestone and in many ways, come of age… The magazine has changed significantly. Yet all the while, it has stayed true to its roots, its core values – to be the focal point for global industrial gas news, views and information. It has simply evolved over time to provide our readers and partners with the most effective and engaging means of delivering these values.

…I think the magazine has grown with the industry, it reflects the changes that the industry has gone through itself, as all true industry publications should. This was highlighted just the other day when I was looking back at my first magazine, Issue 27. There has been so much evolution since then.

…Perhaps one of the most striking developments, however, has been the changing attitude to the clean fuels hydrogen and LNG. Back in summer 2007, hydrogen was still very much ‘the in-vogue gas’ and there was a distinct lack of LNG coverage in the magazine. While it is true that the hydrogen economy is still discussed, it is LNG that appears to be the hot topic of discussion and where our industry fits and is therefore commanding considerable column inches.”

Those were some of my reflections from that milestone in 2013, and the sentiments that still strike a chord today. Clearly, this is my 174th issue and the evolution since then has been even more stark. We’ve seen the whole face of the industry change in the last half-decade alone, in arguably the biggest possible way, with mega-mergers and a trail of subsequent M&A activity. We’ve seen the core values of the industry challenged by a devasting global pandemic and public health emergency. We’ve reported as countless supply chain crunches big and small have affected products like helium and carbon dioxide. We’ve charted the deepening integration of digitisation on our industry, and the shifting sands of our the industry on a geographical level as emerging markets have come both to the fore and of age.

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Source: gasworld

And of course, we’ve chronicled just how much that journey into clean fuels, decarbonisation and sustainability has not only deepened but twisted and turned. Interestingly, if I was reflecting on the rise of LNG back in 2013, we know that since then, this clean fuel has been through several ups and downs as it finds its own path in this energy transition. Indeed, we explored that very role in a decarbonised future in one of our most recent editions, just a few months ago. Meanwhile, hydrogen has firmly moved beyond the ‘hype cycles’ of yesteryear and has emerged, almost unequivocally, as the closest thing to a silver bullet that we have in our clean and green future.

As we close the book on 2021, ready ourselves for 2022 and look back here on 200 issues of gasworld magazine, it feels very much as though the industrial and specialty gas ecosystem of today and tomorrow is being re-imagined and reinvigorated by a number of interwoven trends. Our editorial calendars continue to reflect that – from the rebalancing of markets and decentralisation of supply chains, to the rise of the circular economies and a wealth of applications growth.

Which brings me to one of the central observations and promises I’d like to make to you, here. Back in Issue 100 I said, “For gasworld magazine, our objective is clear: to continue to become the industry’s ‘must read’ publication. I say ‘become’ because we must never think that we have made it and lose sight of our objectives; we will strive to stay at the forefront of the gases industry and take our readers and supporters with us via an insightful, compelling and engaging combination of print and digital products. That must always be our goal.”

That commitment remains today; in fact, it’s reappraised and reinvigorated just as the industry has been. Our content is growing, our readership is growing and the loyalty of our audience is stronger than ever. That’s one of the unwavering stories of our 200 issues – and we have you to thank. I’d like to thank everyone that has been involved along the way – the past and present teams, our advisory boards and, of course you, our loyal readers and supporters.

Over the coming pages we take a moment to pause and reflect on the big stories, interviews and megatrends that have shaped the industry and gasworld over the last decade or more – we hope you enjoy the read and let me extend a huge thanks again to you all, from your Editor.