Gastech 2022: a turning point in the energy industry
In September, 40,000 people made the pilgrimage to the gas industry’s Mecca: Gastech, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year in Milan, Italy. The sector’s premiere conference again united industry leaders and innovators to discuss the future developments in gas. Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore’s delegation was once more on site to engage with stakeholders and industry pioneers.
“This year’s Gastech conference comes at a critical moment,” says Carlos Guerrero, Global Market Leader Oil tankers and Gas Carriers. “The Ukraine crisis has created a gas shortage that is likely to impact supply security in Europe for an uncertain period of time. This profound disruption not only has implications for global supply, but also for long-term demand.”
With an upturned global energy infrastructure, Gastech is more critical than ever before.
Securing liquefied natural gas supply
Floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals were a hot topic at Gastech. Given Europe’s gas shortage, growing interest in these terminals is not surprising, as they can bolster gas supplies by expanding fuel sources. In fact, Germany aims to open new terminals within a record timeframe.
LNG broadly could play a critical role in relieving Europe’s shortage. While natural gas must be transported by pipelines, liquefied natural gas can be shipped from distant producers, expanding options and providing a flexible supply. More large-capacity carriers are needed to meet growing LNG demand, underscoring the maritime industry’s role in shaping energy security.
Fast-tracking next-generation fuels
We were proud to give an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Gas and Heat S.p.A’s flexible cargo systems for transporting LNG and ammonia at this year’s event.
This innovative technology will meet increasing demand for storage and transportation systems for LNG and alternative fuels.
Focusing on hydrogen
Gastech 2022 also sought to spotlight the future of the sector. Green hydrogen, a zero-carbon fuel produced from renewable energy, shows the greatest promise. A dedicated exhibition area and conference stream focused on the state of current technology, and steps needed to transform this into a reliable and viable alternative fuel.
While green hydrogen is certainly promising, it is not yet mature. It will take time before it can be relied upon to meet marine decarbonization targets. Issues related to storage, transportation and hydrogen molecule diffusion must be resolved before green hydrogen can be widely implemented.
Preparing for future gas industry challenges
As the energy industry seeks to overcome the disruptions of the past year and adapt to decarbonization, Gastech attendees nevertheless looked to the future with hope.
“I was struck by the optimism in the air at Gastech 2022,” says Carlos. “We exchanged with LNG industry stakeholders, manufacturers and shipyards. The focus is still very much on LNG, but ammonia and hydrogen are taking their place in the industry. There are many changes ahead of us, driven by the challenge of decarbonization, but everyone is embracing them with enthusiasm.”