Jane Dawson reports from Dubai

The All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association saw unprecedented success early January, with some 350 delegates from locales as distant as Nebraska and Chennai flying in to attend the definitive Indian industrial gas fixture of the year.

The 34th Seminar of its kind, dubbed, ‘Growth in Industrial Gases Through Application Technology’ held in Dubai began with a beachfront pre-registration cocktail evening and cultural dinner on  January 9, sponsored by Cryolor Asia Pacific and co-hosted by Everest Kanto Cylinder Ltd.

Early program highlights included a surprise presentation from Sanjiv Lamba, Executive Board member of The Linde Group. Entitled, ‘Global Gases Industry - A journey to the East’, Lamba provided seasoned advice regarding three key megatrends affecting the industry, before discussing ways in which the industry can manage change and maximize opportunity.

Lamba advised, “The world as we know it tomorrow will be very different. In particular we will see change on three horizons; the megatrends of growth markets, clean energy and healthcare.” He continued, “We estimate that over the next 20 years, up to 2030, we will see a whole new market opening up, the future really does lie here - with €35bn growth in the gas market alone.”

Lamba’s presentation emphasized the import of association events such as AIIGMA, particularly since Asia will contribute between €18-20bn of global sector growth if industry predictions are correct. But in keeping with the Association’s direct approach, talk moved onto ways in which industry members can facilitate this change and ensure that predictions are met, if not surpassed.

The first technical session of the program chaired by Lamba and co-ordinated by Michael Blondin, director of Global Sales and Marketing for VRV, included in-depth discussion of topics as divergent and detailed as clean energy in LNG transport and terminals, to engineering enhancements in ASU turbo expanders.

Shell-N-Tube’s Shankar Ghosh gave delegates a great insight into the company’s work with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Specifically, Shell-N-Tube’s involvement in the launch of the GEO Synchronous Launch Vehicle MK3, scheduled for 2013. Samuel Zouaghi of Cryostar followed with an insightful presentation on LNG transport and terminals. He highlighted the vast similarities between the gas industry’s equipment used to transport industrial gases and those used to transport and store LNG.

Further technical discussions included Helmut Reichenauer presention, “New UN US Regulatory Developments 3/2 versus 5/3 TP/WP Considerations, State of the Art Cylinder Design Features”. He offered a thorough presentation which included information on typical split of test pressures, cylinder design standards, and tensile strength requirements, with particular emphasis on India’s cylinder business.

Rohit Behani, executive at Tekno Valves commenced day two’s proceedings with his presentation on “Use of Residual Pressure Valves Challenges and Opportunities for Indian Subcontinent.” Following on from this, Michael Blondin, director of Global Sales & Marketing at VRV, provided his informed take on safety in distribution and equipment selection.

Ravin Merchandani return to the stage with, “Debottlenecking Cylinder Filling Operations Use of Thermosiphon versus Conventional Tanks.” In his technical presentation he highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of conventional tanks versus thermosiphon tanks, he noted, “As you can see the disadvantages of conventional tanks heavily outweigh the advantages.”

Herose’s Keith Stewart considered technically developed valve solutions. Stewart opened, “Equipment Manufacturers are under increasing pressure these days to reduce their costs as the market segment continues to grow rapidly.” He drew attention to expansion in China, design enhancements within the North American market, as well as the growth of automated filling in regions such as South Africa.

On the final evening, hospitality was sponsored by KVK Corporation & Weldcoa, Matheson K-Air, Luxfer Gas Cylinders and VRV Spa.