The All Indian Industrial Gas Manufacturers Association (AIIGMA) officially opened its 35th annual gases conference today (Sunday) in Singapore, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Conference Centre.

The theme of this year’s conference is on ‘sustainability within the industrial gases business’ which has become an important theme for the whole of the Indian industrial gases community. Just under 300 delegates are gathering to attend the two day seminar, listening to a variety of speakers discussing strategy and the need for companies to be flexible to the changing and fast moving market within India.

This is the fourth conference organised by AIIGMA which has been held outside of India itself in order to make closer ties with neighbouring regions such as South East Asia and the Middle East.

The conference will be opened by Dr Raghavan, the Indian High Commissioner for Singapore. He will be followed by Mr Sanjiv Lamba, a member of the executive board of the Linde Group – his theme specifically addressing “the sustainability dilemma and shaping our future.

Delegates met last night for the pre-conference cocktail reception sponsored by Praxair India, Cryolor Asia Pacific and Seva Gases. Judging by the comments made to gasworld, this conference will be an interesting debate as India has some 300 gas companies with small gas production units. These companies fear the onset of the major players with the investment that has been made into large onsite plants and the associated liquid production facilities.

Currently the majority of the membership of AIIGMA have raised concerns about the use and introduction of mini-bulk (1,000 litre) tanks at customer’s facilities and thus, replacing the need for lots of cylinders (which they supply). As these are technically mobile units they do not need the same certificates of operation as fixed units and, therefore, the smaller gas companies are very concerned about losing out. Mini-bulk supplies are well practiced in the United States and in some parts of Europe and other regions, including China.

This will no doubt be raised in presentations over the next two days but reflects the need for adapting to changing technologies and changing practices of supplying industrial gases to customers.

Keep tuned to the gasworld news website for on-going news on the speeches and presentations during the day.