PowerGen Europe 2019 In Paris


I attended the PowerGen exhibition and conference for the first time in 1996. It was organised in Madrid that year. Nearly 10 employees came from the Turkish USA joint venture Company. We went with the financial support of the American partner company. Academics that we sponsored came with us to the conference. We distributed company catalogs, books, manuals. The following year we went to Milan. In 1999, the Company closed down, and I started to do other things independently. In the following years, I participated by spending my own travel expenses out of my own pocket, in Cologne, Barcelona, ​​Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan again. Paris, France for the first time this year.

Energy market employees attend. As you walk around, you encounter many people, you hear clear information or a lot of hidden things. Names change places, names change jobs, you are promoted, there you learn, encounter, meet and congratulate. New technologies develop, new applications come, new experiences are shared.

My first visit to the city of Paris was in the summer of 1971. There was student’s boycott in my university METU. I was in third grade. I had to do a summer internship. The rector’s office announced a long break. I received a 50% discount on Thy Paris round-trip ticket with the “student” certificate I received from METU. At that time, Thy could fly to Paris at most, there was no London flight. I went down from Rome to Paris Orly airport. There was no visa requirement. With a simple handbag in my hand I reached to Paris city center using the shuttle Bus. I reached the “Gare de Nord” north train station on foot, then I bought train tickets for London. I had a train ride all night, I crossed Calais to Dover by ferryboat at midnight, then transferred to the British train and reached London.

The money in my pocket was enough to reach Wolverhampton, the factory city where I would spend my summer internship. I gave my last money for a week at the YWCA hostel. On the way back, I bought a plane ticket with my intern money. I didn’t know there could be 2-3 airports in a big city. The plane left me at the LeBoujet airport, across the city of Paris. I crossed LeBoujet Orly from the ring road. I barely reached the Orly to Istanbul Thy plane.

Since then, it has never been possible to see Paris again. Fortunately for the first time this year, the Powergen Europe conference was held in Paris on November 12-13.We boarded the Istanbul SabihaGökçen Pegasus ps1135, and after the 3-hour flight, we landed at Paris Orly. We did not wait for the luggage because we had cabin luggage with us. The passport police stamped the entry to passports without waiting too long. At the exit we boarded the OrlyDirect bus and paid €12 per person. Within half an hour we came to the “Gare de Montparnasse” train station in the city center by ring road. We walked long in underground tunnels up to the M12 subway line. We tried to get a train ticket from the machine. we got the ticket and took the M12 subway train.

On the way the electricity was cut off, the engineer’s apologetic sound was heard from the speaker, the electricity came shortly after, we continued on the road, after a while the electricity was cut off again. In the developed city of Paris, the electricity is cut off the subway. It was quite surprising, not anywhere else, not even us, but here in Paris. Anyway we went down to the metro at the last stop. We reached our hotel on foot, made registration, got our room. The life in Paris is expensive, hotels are very expensive. Smallish room, bathroom toilet. Breakfast in the morning is very simple. Everything is kept at minimum in all services facilities.

The following days we visited the city on foot, first on the banks of the river Saine, the Eifel tower, Chanzelize boulevard, Arc de Troiphe, Concorde square, Luouvre, Dorsay, NotreDame. We arrived at the hotel late by metro train. We walked a total of 16.5 km on Friday. We slept without fatigue. Saturday morning we started with the Egyptian obelisk in Concorde Square, SacraCoure, Louvre, Dorsay, NotrDame, Opera Garnier, Galerie Lafayette. 30 million foreign tourists come to Paris every year. The population of Paris today is around 6 million. As for so many tourists, the prices are getting too high. Pickpocket on the subway are very active. You better leave your passport in the hotel safe. Take very little cash and a single credit card with you, and store them in your inner pocket at the bottom of your bag with the zipper closed.

“PowerGen Europe” Conference Fair and Exhibition was held on 12-13-14 November 2019 in Paris (France). During the conference, we met, talked and exchanged information with many local and foreign energy professionals and employees. We watched presentations and followed presentations. many markets players from Turkey were public officials and private employees. In the exhibition hall there were serious well prepared ones as well as those who brought the fairy atmosphere completely, eating cocktails and disrupting the order, looking for drinks, and contemplating the scope of sightseeing and holiday shopping. In the afternoons, all types of drinks came out from bags, suitcases, boxes, everyone served drinks  to everyone.

Foreigners first asked me about our economy and investment environment. What can I say? The current practices in our country are contrary to them. Competition, rule of law, judicial independence, separation of powers issues are very clear in their countries. The investor parties  are no investors who come to these environments. Usually they feel reluctance, indifference towards our market. Foreign investors have cautious attitude towards our climate to escape the risk, We have observed. Investment expectations can be perceived very differently in the future.

In the face-to-face meetings, there were a lot of first-hand market rumors. The time has passed, technology is finished, prices have remained very expensive, the old big fossil fuel  firms are out of business. There were people I knew from the old times, separated from the company, trying to get another place. Far Easters were very aggressive but they were speech-impaired. The Germans, the French, the Spaniards prefer to speak their own languages.

We sensed that our engineering companies were in shortage of funding. Most of them have changed ownership, projects have been cancelled, 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 finance groups to buy these precious companies with ready human capital. 

With the customs walls, western domestic market demands are difficult to take in a competitive environment. There was a full introvert environment in the companies of the Mediterranean countries. It’s very difficult to deal with strangers.

The number of manufacturers and engineering companies in the exhibition were very low. Those who took part in the exhibition hall, those presenters at the conference and those who visited the exhibition are diminished in number. Investment potential in the fossil energy market has stopped. It’s full with the software companies. Renewable energy equipment and software came to the foreground.

In the past there were free Internet-Cafes, now the internet is free to use wireless, already everyone has an iPhone, free wifi is already standard in hotels.

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, facilities on the market at a much more reasonable price. You just do the basic design, the rest is easy. It is very difficult to get  business orders  in world markets with 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 working in the energy sector, we recommend you to participate. It is not always easy to find and talk with so many energy market companies, investors, financiers and top executives of international companies.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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