Coming soon: Exclusive interview with Jill Evanko, CEO of Chart Industries

To understand the scale of transformation that Chart Industries has undergone in recent years, you have to look back at its history and the company’s market position even just a decade ago. It’s almost a root and branch repositioning of the business.

After a visionary, whirlwind five years, the Chart Industries that we see today is so much more than a cryogenic equipment company. This is very much Chart Industries: reloaded.

It’s a Chart Industries driven by decarbonisation and underpinned by The Nexus of CleanTM.

The world has changed and continues to evolve at great speed, a pace of change that Chart has firmly kept pace with. In fact, one might say it has not only kept pace but stepped ahead of the curve and actively positioned itself to capture the future value proposition and make a societal difference.

It has done so under the astute and inspiring strategic leadership of President and CEO Jillian (Jill) C. Evanko, the catalyst behind the company’s positioning across the clean energies spectrum as President and CEO since June 2018.

In an exclusive interview with gasworld, coming to subscribers next month (June), Evanko takes readers behind the curtain on Chart’s transformation in recent years; its strategic vision under The Nexus of Clean and its high hopes for hydrogen; its $4.4bn acquisition of March earlier this year, its most expensive deal to date; the outlook for Chart and so much more besides.

Here we provide a bitesize preview of those key talking points and Evanko’s esteemed take on them.

To read the full interview, subscribe to gasworld today; for existing subscribers, look out for the full interview in early June and the Cryogenics-themed June issue of gasworld magazine.

Evanko on the transformation at Chart…

Since taking the hot seat at Chart, Evanko has combined all of her experience with the foresight to actively reposition the business.

She’s overseen an aggressive acquisition trail in key markets, the expansion of activities in its core areas of focus, and divestment of non-core assets that might otherwise have diluted its direction of travel.

“Prior to 2018, Chart was largely viewed as an equipment supplier to the traditional oilfield service industry with separate industrial gas and biomedical components. Aside from pursuing larger-scale LNG projects, the company lacked vision and needed a cohesive, long-term strategy,” Evanko told gasworld.

“Since mid-2018, Chart has strategically repositioned itself to take advantage of the clean energy transition by capitalising on the company’s core competencies and making key investments to provide full solutions across The Nexus of Clean™ – clean power, clean water, clean food and clean industrials, regardless of molecule.”

“With this approach, Chart has added key products and processes to its portfolio, entered new geographic markets, and integrated certain functions to be more responsive and operate as a OneChart™ global organisation. This has resulted in positive financial results, a market cap which has grown significantly, and advancement from the S&P SmallCap 600® to S&P MidCap 400® index.”

It’s been a total shift in strategy, positioning and even perception. A shift that has seen the company bring BlueInGreen, AdEdge, Earthly Labs and SES into the Chart stable, as well as acquiring minority ownership stakes in Transform Materials, McPhy and Svante. On the eve of our interview, it completed the $4.4bn acquisition of air and gas handling products and service provider Howden, a prominent stakeholder in the hydrogen market.

“Chart has grown through aggressive organic and inorganic investments over the past couple of years by forming many strategic partnerships and growing through acquisitions to fulfil our Nexus of Clean™ vision. In 2022 alone, 30+ Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed to collaborate with other industry leaders in applications such as hydrogen, carbon capture and water treatment, amongst others.”


Evanko on The Nexus of Clean…

At the heart of Chart Industries today is what it calls the Nexus of Clean™ – ™- that being clean power, clean water, clean food and clean industrials, regardless of molecule.

Its vision is to be the global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of process technologies and equipment for gas and liquid molecule handling for this Nexus of Clean.

In many ways, this vision is like a deeper version of Chart’s old adage – ‘You may never use the products we make, but everyone uses the products we make possible’ – for the 2020s and beyond. It’s also a value proposition the company rolls out in virtually every corner of the world, with domestic operations in eight US states and international engineering and manufacturing sites in Australia, China, Czech Republic, Germany and the UK.

“Our unique product portfolio is used in every phase of the liquid gas supply chain, including upfront engineering, service and repair,” Evanko enthused. “Being at the forefront of the clean energy transition, Chart is providing technology, equipment and services related to liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, CO2 capture and water treatment, among other applications. As a combined business, we are better positioned to enter new markets while also penetrating our existing markets with a fuller solution.”

Evanko on the high hopes for hydrogen…

Chart is very evidently molecule agnostic. This is within the definition of its Nexus of Clean, while Chart has worked extensively with products such as hydrogen, LNG and CO2 for many decades around the world.

And Evanko is very clear in our interview that, “Accelerating the energy transition will require collaboration and a blend of approaches working together such as scaling up new renewable energy sources, capturing emissions, and reusing wasted energy.”

“While we understand our customers’ requirements and goals are different,” she added, “we are committed to working with them to develop the right solution to fit each of their needs.”

Despite this, there can be little doubt about the role of hydrogen at the forefront of the clean energies transition and its significance within the Chart portfolio.

“Demand for hydrogen is quickly increasing and there are many reasons for this,” Evanko said. “Renewable hydrogen is arguably one of the most effective tools that we have to flight climate change and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

“The political situation in Europe in early 2022 has given the hydrogen story another important role and accelerated the pace of its adoption. And now, hydrogen is also positioned to become a major tool in supporting countries in achieving energy security.”

Evanko also said the declining cost of hydrogen is the other key catalyst for its uptake.

© Chart Industries

Evanko on that headline Howden acquisition…

Chart’s hydrogen activities will only expand further with Howden in its ranks. The company acquired UK-based Howden for $4.4bn earlier this year, demonstrating not only its biggest acquisition to date but its pursuit of developing a hydrogen powerhouse.

Backed by over 165 years of engineering, Howden’s products support core processes in a range of industries from energy and renewables, such as hydrogen, energy recovery and nuclear, as well as infrastructure markets like cement, chemical and steel. But it was the company’s refrigeration compressors that really stood out to Chart ahead of taking the plunge.

“Prior to purchasing Howden, Chart had all the major equipment supply for hydrogen liquefaction, except for the refrigeration compression,” said Evanko. “After noticing that gap in the market, we did an independent review of the major compressor suppliers and found the Howden compressor product offering.”

And Chart liked what it found. With the incorporation of Howden’s refrigeration compression capabilities into Chart’s liquefaction designs, and ultimately now with Howden as part of Chart, it has all the major equipment supply firmly under one roof for the very first time. “The complementary nature of the equipment and solution portfolios results in a differentiated offering across stationary and rotating equipment. This is further differentiated by the additional 750 Howden engineers gained with the acquisition. It has doubled our global engineering team to over 1,500.”

The combined business will be able to deliver complete solutions across multiple market applications, from industrial gas to hydrogen, carbon capture, energy recovery and water treatment to name just a few. But it’s not just the product offering that has grown since the deal was signed. Howden also boosted Chart’s geographical footprint and now Chart has a manufacturing operation that spans 64 locations globally, in addition to 50 repair and service locations.

“This will allow customers in every region to have shorter lead times on products, ease of doing business with a supplier that has certifications in their region, as well as the best quality product at the best price.”

“Through the transaction, Chart has gained commercial access to regions with high growth potential (think Africa, South Korea and Chile),” Evanko noted. “Chart now has products that are installed in 169 countries, which extends our reach and greatly expands our aftermarket service and support opportunities.”

Hungry for more?

To read the full interview, subscribe to gasworld today. For existing subscribers, look out for the full interview online in early June or in your Cryogenics-themed June issue of gasworld magazine.

Chart Industries is also the title sponsor of gasworld’s Clean Energies 2.0 event in New Jersey, US this June. To be held from 13-15 June 2023, this 2.5-day event is where industrial gas truly meets decarbonisation, bringing together the two sides of this great energy transition.

If you’re a cryogenic equipment expert, a leader in LNG distribution or a pioneer in pumps and valves, this is the event for you. If you’re a catalyst in carbon capture, a forerunner in fuel cells or a groundbreaker in green hydrogen, then this is the platform for your calls to action.

If you’re an innovator in industrial gases and an enabler in energy, like Chart Industries, then come to gasworld’s Clean Energies 2.0 event in New Jersey to learn more, network and ensure your story is heard.

For more information and to secure your ticket, visit https://gasworldconferences.com/conference/clean-energies-2-0-new-jersey/ 

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