Having been part of the industrial gases market since 2018, when she started working at UK-based Roadgas, Becky Rix has built up a passion for both the industry she is immersed in and the role she plays within it today.
Roadgas was part of an industrial gas engineering business that became a company in its own right in 2007. In 2019, the company extended its proposition to include the supply of biomethane and since then, the business has only continued to grow.
During her time at the Roadgas, Rix has witnessed strong growth both in the industry and for the company, and here, in this exclusive interview with Rix, Marketing Director at Roadgas, we find out more about the company, her journey in the industry, her love of clean fuels and what it’s like being a woman in the industrial gases world.
GW: Thank you for taking the time to gasworld today. Firstly, can you tell us a little more about how you became involved in the industrial gases market?
BR: With many years’ experience in the corporate communications sector, I was invited to join the Board of Roadgas in 2018 as their Marketing Director. At that time, I had very little knowledge of the industrial gases market. I have however focussed my attention on the unique benefits of our product and service, which I believe to be highly competitive and placed my trust in our engineering team to deliver on the technical side. I believe my role is to communicate to our clients in a way they understand, to educate and inform and share my wider knowledge of industry developments to all interested parties.
GW: What was your first role within this industry, and what roles have you held since then?
BR: This has been my first role in this sector which I have now held for over three years. Even in that short time the industry has changed so much - especially with the UK Government’s Net Zero announcement - and the consequent focus on the decarbonisation of the transport sector.
GW: Focusing on your currently role at Roadgas, can you tell us more your duties here and your favourite part about working for the company?
BR: As Marketng Director my primary task is to communicate effectively both externally and internally. I pride myself in being able to communicate at all levels and in being able to share our excitement in being involved at the forefront of the latest developments in the gas industry.
I love the fact that no two days are the same as we deliver our bespoke projects and find new ways to solve clients’ challenges as they look to decarbonise their fleets. The macro environment provides great opportunities to network and discuss the ways forward for renewable gases in the automotive industry. Meeting new people, hearing their carbon stories and driving our company on its own sustainability journey are the highlights for me.
GW: Can you tell us what it means to you to be involved in the clean fuels market segment?
BR: It really feels like a privilege and a huge responsibility all at the same time. Climate goals, climate impacts and the desire for zero emissions is moving our industry forward at an accelerating rate. R&D and technology advances are speeding up the scale and scope of solutions which can make it a confusing time for logistics operators. We work with our clients to deliver the solution that’s right for them, which can sometimes mean a mix of clean fuels across their fleet depending on application
GW: Can you tell us about the significance of LNG and biomethane stations, both in the UK and globally? Do you believe these are the fuels of the future?
BR: There are now 29 natural gas stations operational in the UK. Of these, nine public access stations offer CNG and LNG, both of which are increasingly becoming ‘green’. The remainder are private access stations located at individual client sites. There has been significant growth in both Bio CNG and Bio LNG (biomethane) infrastructure since 2019. Biomethane, produced from food waste / crops and diverted as fuel into the transport sector removes up to 84% carbon from fleet emissions as well as up to 94% of nitrates.
Growth for natural gas has been bigger in Europe as there is now mass adoption and hydrogen is driving the change in the USA, particularly on the West Coast. Bio Methane is here and now and provides for significant emissions reductions across all fleets both in the private and public sector. Gas infrastructure invested in now in the UK can be repurposed for hydrogen, but we need to see truck development from the OEMs and trials of these vehicles before we can specify a timeline.
The UK Government has stated that no ICE vehicles are to be produced after 2040 which has created the dynamic needed to drive the change. Bio Methane and hydrogen – two gases, one future.
GW: Of course, COP26 is currently underway. Can you tell us a bit about why you think this event is so significant, and detail a few of the take-away points that you would like to see?
There is no doubt that COP26 is significant; not only in its desire to highlight ways in which we can mitigate our emissions but also for its’ timing. The Paris Agreement laid down the gauntlet of not raising temperatures by more than 1 °C and this message seems to have been understood. However, how the global community works together to achieve that remains to be seen.
Environmental activism is rising sharply, business and local communities are being challenged to make decision based on carbon outputs whilst school age children are becoming increasingly alarmed about the nature of their planet. I’d hope that we get not only clarity from our global leaders but to some extent reassurance that whatever we do, be it as companies, communities or as individuals – that we are all making a difference.
GW: What’s the best thing about working in the industrial gases market and why?
BR: For me the level of technical knowledge and expertise is outstanding. The industry is well regulated and works to extremely high standards. In my short tenure at Roadgas I have met some of the most interesting and thought-provoking professionals who are striving to take the old into the new. We use gases in all our areas of our daily lives and in many different ways. This is with very little experience of what they are or what they do but always in the safe knowledge that the gas industry has taken care of us. Stable, secure and sound thinking is the way I would sum up this industry. I have come to count myself as being extremely fortunate to have been offered this role at such a momentous time for the industry as a whole.
GW: And finally, if you could give one piece of advice to a woman looking to start her career in the industrial gases business, what would it be?
BR: Go for it! The gas industry has lots of opportunities to develop a worthwhile and rewarding career. Gas is no longer the traditional industry that everyone thinks it is. Renewable gas and in particular recent developments for the uses of hydrogen have highlighted that we are at the cutting edge of technology and application which is driving our green industrial revolution. Gas continues to and will always play a part in our economic development.