The Middle East Gases Association (MEGA) was founded seven years ago to become the reference in standards in the industry, and continues to uphold and promote this mission today.
The association continually strives to improve the safety culture and limits, and will not only be represented on the agenda at the Middle East and North Africa Industrial Gas Conference 2017 in Dubai (UAE) this week, but is also a joint sponsor of the event’s Welcome Reception – the third time it has sponsored such an event and the association’s fifth time attending gasworld’s MENA conference.
MEGA welcomes any prospective members to come along and find out more about the association and believes its participation is also important to keeping current members abreast of industry issues.
Here, we interview current MEGA President Mr Karaoud Moez ahead of the association’s involvement in the conference.
GW: Seven years since MEGA was founded and how would you describe the organisation’s progress to date?
KM: MEGA has succeeded over the last seven years in increasing its notoriety within the industry, to become the reference in term of standards issuing in the industrial and medical field. We have started working with the authority to enforce these standards which will make our industry more safe. Nevertheless, the journey to reach the same level of stature as EIGA or CGA is still long.
GW: How many members does MEGA now have, and how has this evolved over time?
KM: Overall, MEGA has about 20 members. This number has not evolved too much over the last three years. We hope more members join MEGA, which will make our actions more effective.
GW: Has it been difficult to get the ‘buy in’ of local gas companies in the region?
KM: Having the buy in of the local players is the most challenging aspect as they consider standards as business constraints rather than a way to make our industry safer and more sustainable. Nevertheless, we have seen some regional and local players committed and active. We hope over time, the rest will follow.
GW: Has the remit or footprint of MEGA changed since its formation?
KM: MEGA’s area of action (Middle East) has remained the same since its foundation.
GW: What are the fundamentals or pillars at the heart of MEGA today?
KM: Our core pillars are:
GW: And what do you see as the biggest challenges for the association today?
KM: Having all gas players and mainly the locals active in MEGA and part of our industry dynamic [is the biggest challenge].
GW: Similarly, what are the hot topics in Middle East gases safety today? What core issues is MEGA trying to tackle in 2017?
KM: The Middle East region is a wide geography and industrial gas (IG) players run millions of kilometres every year to supply their customers. Road safety is and will remain the main concern in our industry.
With the millions of cylinders spread overall the GCC and the poor treatment by smaller fillers/distributors, without respect to the minimum of safety standards, cylinders filling is also one of the hot topics that MEGA is working on with local authorities
Food safety, medical and the environment are also the main priorities that MEGA is working on in 2017.
GW: And how is MEGA working to address these?
KM: We are working to issue more and more standards and safety instructions to help our members and their customers to reduce the number of accidents in this field. We have also initiated a collaboration on this matter with GPCA and local authorities.
GW: What do you see as the biggest challenge and opportunity going forward in terms of Middle East gases industry safety?
KM: Overall MEGA is working closely with local authorities in the different countries (like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman) to get our standards to be mandatory. We have seen some positive signs, but some milestones still need to be achieved to reach our goal.