The 30th edition of Gastech opened with much fanfare yesterday as His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain officially opened the show at the Grand Fira in Barcelona. The opening ceremony was packed with dignitaries and global business leaders from around the world that saw a heavy hitting opening host panel featuring CEOs and chairmen from the six main Spanish energy and utility firms speaking frankly about the ushering in of a new age for gas.
Christopher Hudson, President of Energy for dmg::events welcomed everyone to Gastech.
He said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming to the 30th edition of Gastech taking place in its 46th year. We are honoured to be graced by the presence of His Majesty. Each year the Gastech governing body, the Gastech technical committee, our sponsors and partners work tirelessly to make sure Gastech continues the tradition of offering a unique breadth of insight which connects policy, strategy and leaderships across all elements of the gas, energy and LNG value chain.
We will hear this week that we are on a threshold of a new age for the gas industry. Gas remains the critical transition fuel of choice in the global energy system.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF GAS FROM A SPANISH PERSPECTIVE
Six of the biggest business leaders in Spain in energy and utilities took part in a special panel during the opening ceremony yesterday with the leaders of the Spanish consortium fi rms all participating in the engaging debate that was moderated by CNBC’s anchor Steve Sedgwick.
The panel looked at the key issues facing the gas industry and why it is such an important resource and emphasised that over the last decade we have seen an unbelievable transformation in the role of gas.
Juan Vera, Chief Operating Office, CEPSA, said: “This is why we are here at Gastech to see what are the big things happening in the gas sector. Over the last decade we saw a massive increase in demand for gas which was driven by power generation. “Five years back, we started to see that the new big thing was shale gas and today we are still amazed about the dynamism in the U.S. in mobilising capability, in exploiting gas and bringing in new resources and projects, as they try to become the natural gas hub of the world. “For the future there will be other requests by society and we will be talking about the environment and sustainability.”
Antonia Llarden, Executive Chairman, Enagas told the audience: “From the point of Enagas, natural gas can play a vital role in decarbonisation in the next 20 to 30 years and it will be the back up to renewable energy and can help introduce ideas about renewables and help this decarbonisation process.
“A lot of industries need natural gas as a fuel and we play an important role. I think the most important thing right now is that the decarbonisation process is very important for the world and the natural gas industry can help this.” Francisco Reynes, Executive Chairman, Naturgy, spoke on the importance of the event as a global forum for the industry “One of our targets at Gastech is to show how natural gas is becoming part of the solution for the future,” he said. Jose Maria Paz Goday, Chairman, Reganosa, pointed out that co-operation across the industry is a vital part of the future, especially in the area of decarbonistaion. “Natural gas is a long-term solution for the world’s demand for clean energy,” he said. “The really important thing is that we work together. LNG will be essential.” Antonio Brufau, Chairman, Repsol agreed. He said: “Natural gas is the fuel for meeting the world’s clean, sustainable and sufficient energy requirements. We have to reduce the carbon footprint of what we do. Gastech is bringing us all together and towards the ambition for Spain to become a natural gas hub and leader.
“The best fuel to meet these new demands is natural gas. In my opinion natural gas is clean, flexible and renewable. It is a perfect fi t for the new renewable generation that is coming up. It is a very good technology for a backup of the system. “We at Repsol have placed natural gas as a big pillar of our strategy going forward and 63 per cent of our production is natural gas and 75 per cent of our reserves is natural gas. We are really focusing on our downstream activities. I am convinced that natural gas in the future will have a significant role to achieve the goals we have in front of us.”
Juan Llado Arburua, CEO and Vice Chairman, Tecnicas Reunidas pointed out the importance of Barcelona as a venue: “Having Gastech in Spain can help us realise our goal of making Spain a global leader in gas. Hosting such a global event can really help us become a world class company.” The panel debate was followed by an official opening by the King of Spain, who then toured the venue and spoke to delegates and exhibitors.