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The interview to International Gases Association on the Pandemic Impact onIG Industry -Series 1

Source: Update:2021-09-24 14:14:25 Author: Browse:77次

--An Interview with Mr. Roger Sayah, Secretary General of Middle East Gas Association

Reporter: Jerry Xu

At the beginning of 2020, an unexpected OUTBREAK of COVID-19 suddenly broke out. As of September 4, 2020, the latest data released by the World Health Organization showed that there were 218,946,836 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and the number of cases was increasing by more than 100,000 every day, spreading to 188 countries and regions around the world. It has killed more than 4.5 million people worldwide. With the large number of people infected and the rapid spread of the epidemic, it is the most serious infectious disease disaster that human society has experienced in nearly a century.

At a time when globalization is highly advanced, the impact of this global pandemic has exceeded that of any infectious disease in human history. Governments around the world are doing everything they can to respond, save lives and reduce the damage. COVID-19 is the common enemy of all mankind. It threatens the health and safety of all mankind and poses a huge challenge to the economic development and social governance of countries around the world. The epidemic is the most serious global crisis facing mankind. No country or ethnic group can stay immune. To this end, we specially plan to launch an interview with the leaders of the related international gases associations, hoping to have an in-depth understanding of the recovery of the industrial gas market around the world under the COVID-19 pandemic from their perspective. Recently, we first interviewed Mr. ROGER SAYAH, Secretary General of the Middle East Gas Association-MEGA, through email. The content is summarized as follows for readers.

Q1:At present, countries around the world are suffering from a new round of "Delta" mutation virus attack, which will undoubtedly bring greater challenges and uncertainties to the recovery of the global economy. Please share with us your views on the trend of the international gas market and the development of the gas market in your country or region when the COVID-19 mutation virus hits.

Mr. Roger Sayah: In General, the Gulf countries has done a good job in handling and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to hospital capacity increase, providing a sufficient number of intensive care beds, planning capabilities, and the provision of a regulatory mechanism capable of responding quickly and efficiently upon tests and later on, vaccination.

They have rapidly launched the COVID-19 vaccines approval, distribution, tests and vaccination programs and vaccinated a high percentage of the population showing an excellent performance compared to other countries of the world

With the vaccine rollout and some semblance of recovery in the last quarter of 2020, businesses are cautiously coming out of their shell. Recovery speed will vary across countries, but there are reasons to be hopeful, with the stabilizing oil prices, Gulf States are betting on vaccines and a strong health care structure, to face the COVID-19 mutation virus and to drive growth, especially that:

  • Saudi Arabia will enjoy a stimulus from the resumption of infrastructure projects
  • Positive news for the Gulf States overall is the lifting of the political and economic blockade of Qatar, triggering an additional potential for growth.
  • UAE, With Dubai Expo planned for October 2021, aims to project a positive effect on the investment mood and spearhead the recovery of tourism, retail, hospitality, and real estate

Oil production and export being the major source of economic stabilization in the region. Oil prices having increased, many oil production sites have increased back their production in the region, which can be a major factor for the stability of the Gas Market in the Middle East.

it’s already clear that Covid-19’s impact on the Middle Eastern business landscape will be long-lasting. The shape of the upcoming recovery will depend upon a host of factors, particularly inoculation strategies and government stimuli. But as mentioned above, we are optimistic and confident that the Health care reinforced structure in the ME will reduce the effect of the COVID-19 mutation virus.

Q2:Air Liquid recently released its annual report for the first half of 2021, showing a 9.2% year-on-year increase compared to the first half of 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19. This is good news for the gas industry to boost industry confidence. Do you think the world's gas companies will be able to get back to pre-outbreak growth this year?

Mr. Roger Sayah:Despite the impact of COVID-19, there is a strong recovery of the IG markets and activities: Healthcare, Electronics, New Technologies, Carbon Capture etc..

And it seems that the 2021 half-year results announced by the Major IG companies, have reached or exceeded the level seen in 2nd quarter of 2019.

Health Care overall had a very strong first half of the year, due to:

  • a combination of a high medical gas demand, a strong homecare activities recovery. The consumption of oxygen is expected to stay very high even if there are some progress in the reduction of the pandemic. And unfortunately, with the new wave coming, we probably should expect some – quite high level of consumption for medical oxygen.
  • Diabetes treatment and sleep apnea: those two therapies are enjoying very strong growth/catch-up. Even when back to the normal trend, it will probably stay at a higher level for the rest of the year

Electronics Markets: PCs, smartphones, servers, cloud data, IoT, automotive, 5G, continued to grow despite the pandemic, and will probably have a significant growth over the second half of the year and more importantly, the next several years,

New technologies and solutions for energy transition are being highly promoted and will be developed strongly in the coming years.

Therefore, I do believe strongly that the world's gas companies will be able to get back to pre-outbreak growth this year.

Q3:At present, the global gas industry is focusing on "CCS - carbon dioxide capture and storage". What are the potential business opportunities and prospects for gas users and equipment suppliers in this new field?

Mr. Roger Sayah: The main potential business opportunities involved in the Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) are the technical specifics of capturing, compressing and/or liquefying, transporting and storing it in geological formations, the ocean, or minerals, or utilizing it in industrial processes.

IG Companies Engineering and Construction has developed multiple competitive technologies for CO₂ capture suitable for various industries: Power, Cement production, Refineries, Iron and steel industry, Petrochemical industry, Oil and gas processing, others.

Transportation Equipment suppliers, from Onshore and Offshore Pipeline,to Ships and road tankers, using compression or liquefaction have also potential opportunities.

Pipelines today operate as a mature market technology and are the most common method for transporting CO2. Gaseous CO2 is typically compressed to a pressure above 8 MPa in order to avoid two-phase flow regimes and increase the density of the CO2, thereby making it easier and less costly to transport. In most of these pipelines, the flow is driven by compressors at the upstream end, although some pipelines have intermediate (booster) compressor stations.

CO2 also can be transported as a liquid in ships, road or rail tankers that carry CO2 in insulated tanks at a temperature well below ambient, and at much lower pressures.

Monitoring is a very important part of the overall risk management strategy for geological storage projects: detecting any possible leakage, injection rate and injection well pressure, seismic surveys for tracking the underground migration of CO2, sampling of groundwater and the soil, CO2 sensors with alarms can be located at the injection wells to detect leakage for ensuring worker safety.

Q4:I would like to put a request to you whether your Association is willing to join our initiative to set up the "International IG Action Coalition against the Pandemic"? Over the past year or so, we have all witnessed the deaths of countless people in many countries around the world due to the lack of effective preparedness and timely delivery of medical oxygen and related equipment. The aim of the initiative is to contribute the technical and equipment resources of our respective associations or regional institutions, while ensuring uniform technical standards, to help severely affected regions and countries get the urgently needed technology and equipment in a timely manner. This initiative is based on the principle of humane care and technical support sharing, not for commercial purposes!

Mr. Roger Sayah: We would like to support. Please let us know how?

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