The company has been operating for 18 months and launched its website in March 2004. The aim of the company is very simple, to provide information and other services to the industrial gas community and more importantly, to the larger audience \\$quot;“ the end-users of gases and gas equipment.

Initially the company will focus on the gas community itself, where some 8-10 000 companies provide gas and equipment and related services to the millions of end-users. Virtually every country in the world has a need for industrial gases, no matter what stage of development the country may be at.

Whether you are an end-user or actively involved in the industrial gases business, one common complaint has been the lack of information about the industry. In 2004, gasworld launched a Directory Service to provide an easy to use search engine for companies or individuals to search for suppliers of gas, equipment and services, effectively becoming the \\$quot;˜Yellow Pages\\$quot; for the industrial gases business.

In January of this year, we launched our on-line News Service \\$quot;“ which is the first dedicated portal providing daily and weekly news on or about the gases business. This will become a subscription service in May but it is our intention to be the \\$quot;ECN or Chemical Week\\$quot; of the gases business. We will be initially focusing on the markets not covered by other providers of industrial gas news \\$quot;“ that in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

This month (April) we will then start an additional service, providing an equipment trading platform for new and used equipment. The aim is to help dispose of some $1 Bn of used and surplus equipment within our industry \\$quot;“ in effect becoming the \\$quot;Ebay\\$quot; of the gas industry.