May 2024
by Oliver Lancaster

Journey of innovation: IGEM's presidential visit overseas


This article chronicles Oliver Lancaster's international trip as he attends a Presidential visit to the Far East. Hear about how his journey unfolded, from forging strategic alliances with industry leaders to exploring groundbreaking hydrogen projects in Australia. Travelling through bustling cities like Hong Kong, China and Delhi he witnesses firsthand the impactful engagements that underscore IGEM's commitment to global collaboration and sustainable energy advancement.


Planning the overseas presidential visit

When it comes to planning the overseas Presidential visit to the Far East District Section, it provides an opportunity to arrange convenient meetings with industry representatives in our developing markets.

Welcoming AGIG: Initiating the journey down under

At the start of 2024, we were delighted to welcome Australia Gas Infrastructure Group, the largest GDN in Australia, as an IGEM Company Member, which resulted in a short leg to our journey to capture some time with them at the start of our busy trip.

Hydrogen horizons: Exploring AGIG's flagship projects

We were very grateful for the chance to see some of AGIG’s flagship projects where they have a 100% hydrogen demo house (HyHome), including a hydrogen BBQ and a blending station (HyP SA) that is putting up to 10% hydrogen into part of the local distribution network. Soon they plan to step up to 15%, then 20%. Some of what we saw is already providing input to support hydrogen projects in the UK.

Roundtable reflections: Engaging industry stakeholders

We were also grateful for some industry roundtables in Melbourne and Adelaide with key AGIG staff, other gas network representatives, technical regulators, state government officials, key supply chain businesses, innovators and academia. It was a rich technical and policy discussion at both of these, with takeaways and follow-ups on both sides which we hope will lead to growth of membership.

Meetings in Hong Kong and China: Navigating strategic alliances


Next on the itinerary was Hong Kong and China, where we had another meeting with the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.

We were very pleased to visit Citybus to have a detailed discussion on hydrogen fuel cells in public transport and the challenge of meeting air conditioning demand to provide comfort…before we were treated to a ride on the bus!



Journey into Jiangsu: Exploring towngas operations


Before heading to China, Andrew delivered his speech to members in Hong Kong and welcomed new members prior to the annual dinner, and then delivered the same in China at another grand event to celebrate IGEM in the mainland. Whilst in China, there was also a fascinating visit to the Towngas operated Jintan Gas Storage facility near to Nanjing where a lot of work is ongoing with storage of natural gas, hydrogen and compressed air in salt caverns.



Judging excellence: The FEDS YPPC final in Suzhou

The delegation then moved down to Suzhou, where our President joined the judging panel at the FEDS YPPC Final where it came down to the last 8 candidates out of over 130 who had submitted an entry to the Section competition!

In awe of Shanghai: Visiting Shanghai Fiorentini's facilities

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Our last stop in China was in Shanghai, where we had the pleasure of going to Shanghai Fiorentini’s facilities and were in awe of their data capture, optimisation of operations and breadth of engineering, activities and products across the natural gas, biomethane and hydrogen parts of our industry.



Meeting in Delhi: Collaborating for clean energy progress

Finally, we called into Delhi on our way back to the UK to meet up with our Ambassador in India, Nitin Patil, who was formerly the CEO of Gujarat Gas. We met up with a number of gas networks and heard more about their progress to deliver rapid growth of connections to domestic properties for clean cooking.

Forging Partnerships: Discussions with regulatory boards and industry bodies

We also met up with the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board to further discuss IGEM’s hydrogen technical standards, with the Natural Gas Society to share knowledge and seek ways of working together, the with the Hydrogen Association of India to have similar discussions, including the progress of developing hydrogen appliances in the UK and how India may be able to import these.