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London - world's temporary LPG capital
Forum, Congress and Conference
Combining three major annual events – the 26th World LP Gas Forum, the AEGPL Congress and the UKLPG Conference – made all the important players and decisionmakers of the sector meet in one place. Speeches and presentations reflected the LPG business' development trends and topics discussed in professional, commercial conversations. Also, having the three events run in parallel boosted the entire affair's rank even higher in a whole-greater-than-the-sum-of-all-parts sort of manner. The presence of a member of the British royal family only goes to confirm this.
The venue was brilliant in terms of location, situated within walking distance from the Houses of Parliament and the famous Big Ben, in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. Within three days twelve conference sessions were held, attracting several hundred delegates from national or regional LP Gas associations and LPG sector's companies from around the globe. The sessions were accompanied by an extensive exhibition of products and services displayed on the conference centre's four storeys.
All things LPG outside the building
Space in front of the QE II Conference Centre was used to display and showcase some LPG technology, too. For instance, Bigas of Italy used an Abarth 500 (a saucier sibling to the Fiat 500) to present a well carried out conversion to autogas power. Interestingly, the car used an LPG tank made by GZWM of Grodków, Poland, placed under the boot floor. The Prins-converted Porsche Panamera with a VSI-2.0 DI system was an eye-catcher, while the French LPG Association's autogas-converted Alfa Romeo MiTo provided some eye candy.
But not only cars were there. The exposition also included certain LPG-powered devices normally not associated with liquefied gas operation, such as power generators, water pumps, pressure washers and lawn mowers. The range was complete with grills, garden heaters, boat engines and engines used in heat-electricity cogeneration applications.
Autogas – important, but not crucial
Autogas is LPG, but LPG isn't always autogas. That's why liquefied petroleum gas as motor fuel wasn't the focal point of the entire event, even though it was obviously a remarkable part of it. Autogas system manufacturers and their representatives (like Vialle, Prins, Bigas, Elpigaz, Auto-Gaz Centrum, AC or KME) attended the event, either presenting their latest line-ups or just participating to see the latest innovations for the sector. And speaking of innovations, Vialle debuted their latest liquid state sequential autogas injection system in London, set to revolutionise the aftermarket with its price comparable to that of a vapour state injection system. Speakers also devoted some time to talk about autogas markets with good prospects for future, such as Brazil, the US, India or Nigeria. In fact, there was a conference session dedicated entirely to Africa, which could prove to be LPG's (and autogas') next promised land.
Two major sessions – one devoted to autogas and one to LPG in general – ran at the same time, which was a good idea, because it allowed delegates to make their choices and manage their time more efficiently. This division also demonstrated that autogas – even if not crucial – is very important in the global big picture of LPG and enjoys huge interest.
As for downsides, the QE II Conference Centre wasn't, in the opinion of exhibitors and delegates, the best possible venue to hold the exhibition at. The building is simply too big and too complex architecture-wise, so it sometimes proved difficult to find the right booth or room. Nobody really found this much of a problem, but things could have been better.
The open air exposition was a good idea, although its potential remained partially untapped as it hadn't been properly advertised among Londoners. We can't help feeling the LPG sector should do more to send a message outside instead of just meeting and talking within its own company. Still, the entire event was a huge success and allowed major knowledge and information transfer for everyone present. Detailed coverage from select speeches and presentations will follow soon at gazeo.com, so stay tuned!
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