We wanted to push the boat by celebrating this milestone with our general public, our advertisers and our supporters – and we put a lot of effort into a special edition, maybe a collector’s edition! At that time, we were also just exiting our acquisition of CryoGas International in the United States, which we would later rename Gasworld US Edition with great success. It was definitely a good time for all of us and for the industrial gas industry itself; we were after the recession, after the green shoots of the recovery and the industry was firmly on the rise again.
I couldn’t have imagined what the next 100 issues, the next decade or so, could hold in store for all of us. You could say, who could, especially with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic? Back then, looking back on our first century of magazines, this was my 74th issue and so much had already evolved both at the gasworld level and at the industry level.
“This is the 74th issue I have participated in since I joined gasworld in the summer of 2007, so I’m delighted to see the magazine take such a step and, in many ways, come of age… The magazine has changed dramatically. Yet throughout that time, it has remained true to its roots, to its core values - being the focal point for news, opinions and information about the world’s industrial gas. It has simply evolved over time to provide our readers and partners with the most effective and engaging ways to convey these values.
… I think the magazine has grown with the industry, it reflects the changes that the industry has gone through itself, as all real industry publications should. This was pointed out the other day when I was looking at my first magazine, number 27. There has been so much evolution since then.
… Perhaps one of the most striking developments, however, has been the change in attitude towards the clean fuels of hydrogen and LNG. In the summer of 2007, hydrogen was still the “gas of the day” and there was a glaring lack of LNG coverage in the magazine. While it is true that the hydrogen economy is still the subject of discussion, it is LNG that seems to be the hot topic of discussion and where our industry fits in and therefore commands considerable column inches. “
These were some of my thoughts on that milestone in 2013, and the feelings that still strike a chord today. Obviously this is my 174th issue and the development since then has been even more striking. We’ve seen the whole face of the industry change in the last half-decade alone, arguably in the most significant way possible, with mega-mergers and a series of subsequent M&A activity. We have seen core industry values challenged by a devastating global pandemic and public health emergency. We have reported that countless supply chain crises large and small have affected products like helium and carbon dioxide. We have mapped the increasingly deep integration of digitization into our industry and the quicksand of our industry geographically as emerging markets have come both to the fore and into adulthood.
And of course, we shared how this journey to clean fuels, decarbonization and sustainability has not only deepened, but also twisted and transformed. Interestingly, if I thought about the LNG boom in 2013, we know that since then this clean fuel has seen several ups and downs as it finds its own way in this energy transition. Indeed, we explored this role even in a carbon-free future in one of our latest editions, just a few months ago. Meanwhile, hydrogen has steadfastly passed the “hype cycles” of yesteryear and has become, almost unequivocally, the closest thing to a quick fix we have in our clean, green future.
As we wrap up the book on 2021, prepare for 2022, and look back here at 200 issues of gasworld magazine, it looks like the industrial and specialty gas ecosystem of today and tomorrow is being reimagined and reinvigorated by a a number of interwoven trends. Our editorial calendars continue to reflect this – from rebalancing markets and decentralizing supply chains, to the rise of circular economies and the growth of a multitude of applications.
Which brings me to one of the central observations and promises I would like to make to you here. Back in issue 100, I said, “For gasworld magazine, our goal is clear: to continue to be the industry’s go-to publication. I say “become” because we must never think that we have succeeded and lose sight of our objectives; We will strive to stay at the forefront of the gas industry and bring our readers and supporters with us via an insightful, compelling and engaging combination of print and digital products. This should always be our goal.
This commitment remains today; in fact, it is re-evaluated and reinvigorated just like the industry has been. Our content is growing, our readership is growing, and our audience loyalty is stronger than ever. This is one of the unshakeable stories in our 200 issues – and we have to thank you. I want to thank everyone who has been involved along the way – the past and present teams, our advisory boards and, of course, you, our loyal readers and supporters.
Over the next few pages, we take a moment to pause and reflect on the great stories, interviews and megatrends that have shaped the gas industry and world over the past decade or more – we hope that you will enjoy reading and let me thank you once again. everything from your editor.