Challenges and opportunities facing the global industrial gases business discussed by Linde at GAWDA meeting


Pat Murphy, president of Linde Americas, outlined some of the difficult economic conditions gas companies are facing internationally, the signs of growth in the U.S. despite the slow economic recovery, and the evolution of stringent gas standards in the food and beverage industry.

Murphy was the keynote speaker at the Gases and Welding Distributor Association, regional meeting in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. In his presentation, Industrial Gas Trends and the Regulatory Environment, Murphy addressed three major geographies where industrial gases companies are facing real growth challenges: Europe, China and South America.

“Continued uncertainty in these areas has led all gases companies to look hard at capital expenditure (CAPEX) projects,” Murphy said. “All show a decrease in CAPEX/Sales ratio in 2014 vs. 2013. And, because of this challenging global environment, North America plays an even more important role in growth for all gas companies.” Murphy pointed out that, despite the choppy economic recovery here in the U.S., overall economic growth is good, but not great. “One major area where we do see substantial growth is in the petrochemical industry driven by cheap natural gas and gas liquids from shale,” he said.

The regulatory environment

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