What happened in PowerGen Europe 2019? What to be expected in Powergen Europe in 2020? Haluk Diresnekeli has the insight. Read on Sigma Turkey.
I attended the PowerGen exhibition and conference for the first time in 1996. It took place in Madrid that year. Nearly 10 employees attended from a Turkish-USA joint venture company. We were financially supported by the American partner company. The academics that we sponsored were with us as well. We handed out company catalogs, books, manuals. The following year we went to Milan. In 1999, the JV company closed down, and I started to work independently. In the following years, I continued to attend PowerGen on my own, in Cologne, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan again. Paris, France was the designated destination for the first time this year.
Our energy market participants are also there. As you walk around, you encounter many people, you overhear information including a lot of hidden talks. The names and places change, you are promoted, there you learn, encounter, meet and congratulate others. New technologies are developed, new applications are released, new experiences are shared.
My first visit to the city of Paris was in the summer of 1971. There was a student’s boycott at my university, METU. I was a junior and had to complete a summer internship. The rector’s office that year announced a long break. I received a 50% discount on a THY Paris round-trip ticket with the “student” certificate I received from METU. At that time, the furthest that THY could fly was to Paris, there were not even London flights yet. I traveled from Rome to Paris Orly airport. There was no visa requirement bak then either. With a simple carry-on, I reached to Paris city center using the shuttle bus. I reached the “Gare de Nord” train station on foot, then I bought train tickets for London. The train ride took all night, I crossed Calais over to Dover by ferryboat at midnight, then transferred to the British train and finally reached London. The money in my pocket was sufficient to reach Wolverhampton, the industrial city where I would spend my summer internship. I handed the last of my money to the YWCA hostel for a one week stay. On the way back, I bought a plane ticket with my internship money. I was surprised to see 2-3 airports in a big city. The plane dropped me off at the LeBoujet airport, across the city of Paris. I crossed LeBoujet to get to Orly on the ring road. I barely made it to my THY flight for Istanbul.
Since then, I had not been to Paris again. Fortunately for the first time this year, the Powergen Europe Fair and Exhibition was held in Paris on November 12-14.
During the conference, we met, talked and exchanged information with many local and foreign energy professionals and employees. We watched presentations and followed presentations. Most market players from Turkey were public officials and private employees. In the exhibition hall, there were serious-minded, well-prepared participants as well as those who were clearly there for the atmosphere, drinking cocktails, disrupting the order, and contemplating the scope of sightseeing and holiday shopping. In the afternoons, all types of drinks came out from bags, suitcases, and people served drinks to one another.
Foreigners asked me about our economy and the investment environment. What could I say? The current practices in our country go against their common sense. Competition, rule of law, judicial independence, separation of powers are very clear staples back in their countries. They are generally reluctant, even indifferent, towards our market. Foreign investors, we spoke to have a cautious attitude towards our risky economic climate. We stood there and observed.
During the face-to-face meetings, there were a lot of first-hand market rumors: the times have changed, technology is finished, prices are constantly high, the old big fossil fuel companies are going out of business, etc.
We realized that our engineering companies were in shortage of funding. Most of them have changed ownership, projects have been canceled, they have borrowed a lot and had to sell their majority shares to the companies they borrowed. Those who are still in business are having a hard time. There are many foreign financial groups that are willing to buy these precious companies with their ready human capital.
With the customs walls as high as they are, western market demands are difficult to fulfill in a competitive environment.
The major US energy investors, the GT-ST (OEM) manufacturer and boiler companies, have lost interest in the market and their prices are now very expensive. There are similar equipment, products and facilities on the market at a much more reasonable price. You just do the basic design; the rest is easy. It has gotten very difficult to get business orders with current US prices.
Next year (2020), the PowerGen Europe conference and exhibition will take place in Milan, Italy on October 27-28-29. If you are in the energy sector, I recommend that you participate. It is not always easy to find and talk with so many energy markets companies, investors, financiers and top executives of international companies.