The ‘Sunshine State’ of Florida is this week home to progressive discussion, as the first ever gasworld North American Industrial Gas Conference 2012 informally begins this evening in Miami.

With the Miami Beach skyline as a backdrop, delegates are currently kicking off proceedings with the customary pre-registration cocktail evening.

Day one of the conference officially begins tomorrow morning, opened by gasworld Director Martin Durham. The Economist’s Robert Powell will then grace the stage at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay with the event’s first presentation, followed soon after by an exploration of the North American gases business by Spiritus Group’s John Raquet.

The conference comes at a challenging time for the US market, with much talk about the country’s Fiscal Cliff in the headlines and some news networks even counting down the days until this economic concept becomes reality.

The Fiscal Cliff is potentially just 22 days away, unless bi-partisan agreement can be reached on a number of economic measures in the US.

With the US economy at a crossroads and the dynamics in the North American gases business evolving, gasworld’s first conference in the region couldn’t come at a more significant moment. Around 200 delegates will attend the two-day event this week to discuss and debate the future for the market, exploring economic projections, current and emerging growth drivers, how to realise the opportunities, and the outlook from both a gas and equipment perspective.

A cliff of a very different but equally pertinent nature will also be up for discussion at the conference, the Helium Cliff. With shortages continuing in the global helium market and no significant new capacity expected to enter the fray until mid-2013 at the earliest, combined with concerns about the fate of the BLM-operated Federal Helium Reserve in Texas, the Helium Cliff appears to be approaching.

MATHESON’s Phil Kornbluth will be taking to the stage tomorrow to talk about this precarious side of the gases industry, the future of the market, and what it could mean for the gas and equipment business.


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