The BCGA Annual Conference 2013 is getting underway in Leeds, UK, as new President Sylvie Villepontoux takes to the stage to officially open the event.

After the success of last year’s event, described as ‘the best ever’ by many delegates, the annual conference returns to Oulton Hall in Leeds today promising another progressive programme of speakers and updates.

Chief Executive of the BCGA (British Compressed Gases Association), Doug Thornton, reflected this as he told gasworld, “This is essentially the fulfilment of the strategy. If we had a best ever attendance in 2011, which remained strong again last year, then the best quality of programme was seen in 2012 - and we hope this will prove to be even better again this year.”

A healthy 135 attendees have returned to the Oulton Hall venue today, 13 of which are day delegates and the remaining 122 will stay for the full evening programme of entertainment and discussion.

The annual conference is the organisation’s opportunity to showcase progress made on the issues facing the industry. Members and non-Members alike have the opportunity to catch up on the work of the various Technical Committees (TCs) that meet throughout the year and network with their fellow industry contacts, as well as indulge in a review of general interest papers.

The latest updates from the technical committees will be given shortly, followed by a number of diverse presentations throughout the day, including the UK Department for Transport’s Leon Brain, Dominion Gas’ Russel Davies, Peter Ward (Chairman of the Airship Association), and the Right Honourable Michael Portillo, who will conclude the day’s presentations.

Portillo is still definitely in line to take to the stage as planned, gasworld understands, after attending the funeral of the late Baroness Thatcher in London yesterday. Thornton added, “I’m really looking forward to seeing Michael Portillo on the BCGA stage.”


New presidency

The BCGA Annual Conference 2013 will be the first under the presidency of Sylvie Villepontoux, Managing Director of Air Liquide UK.

Villepontoux succeeded GCE’s Mike Galvin as President at the BCGA’s AGM on 10th May 2012.