Interview with David Wendel, Managing Director ENDEGS GmbH, Managing Director & CCO ETS Group GmbH

Eays Engineering: How was 2023 for your business, a short summary?

David Wendel: 2023 was yet another great year for us as our services were once again well-booked throughout the year and we were able to assist many customers in reducing their carbon footprint. We are glad to be able to contribute to environmental protection and improving the air quality for more than 16 years now.

We have also attended important fairs and trade shows to strengthen our network in the industry and to stay up to date concerning the latest market trends. For example, we have visited the StocExpo in Rotterdam, PRC Europe in Austria, LH Pétro + Chimie in France, the Tank Storage Association Conference in the UK and the International LNG Congress in Düsseldorf. As we also aim to expanding to the Gulf states, have opened an office there and will soon be starting with our first projects, we have also attended fairs such as STOTME Conference and iktva Forum & Exhibition in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. 

Furthermore, we have taken measures for the future of our company with the merger with SIS GmbH under the umbrella of the ETS Group – Environmental Technology Services. As the leading European expert for emissions reduction and green tech solutions, we are now in an even stronger position to further help our customers to make their operations more sustainable.

E.E: What products/services did you launch this year?

D.W: As part of the merger, we have combined the innovative technologies of ENDEGS and SIS, making ETS Group a leading specialist for emissions reduction and degassing services. The ETS Group technology portfolio now includes mobile vapor combustion units with scalable and combinable combustion powers of 3, 4, 5, 10 and 20 MW, mobile nitrogen vaporizers, mobile ATEX Zone 0 blowers and remote-controlled ATEX Zone 0 robots. In the future, we aim to further increase the ETS portfolio of innovative green tech solutions that allow our customers to reduce their carbon footprint and thus to contribute to environmental protection.

E.E: How did the market change, compared to previous years?

D.W: The awareness for environmental protection and sustainable operations is constantly growing in the industry as industry and economy are still major producers of hazardous greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and need to reduce their carbon footprint. By 2050, many European states challenged themselves to become climate-neutral – no emissions are to be released that are not otherwise compensated. To reach this goal – that is highly necessary but nevertheless ambitious –, many actions have already been taken in the last years. However, more still needs to be done.

E.E: What are the new challenges in your field of activity?

D.W: We offer our emission reduction services for various industries such as oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, marine and shipping, food and fertilizer. Of course, the needs of the different industries have always been varying. However, over the last few years, we have observed significant changes and challenges as the products that are applied in the different industries are constantly changing – especially now, as alternative and more sustainable technologies, energy sources and fuels need to be implemented in order to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of the industry.

E.E: How did you overcome these challenges in this more competitive environment?

D.W: Alternative energy sources that were broadly implemented in this year are, for example, LNG, green ammonia or hydrogen. These substances are liquified gases under pressure and therefore are highly flammable and obtain a high risk of explosion. As more complex substances, existing technologies were not suitable to work with tanks and containers filled with such liquified gases under pressure. Therefore, innovation was necessary to expand the application of emissions reduction technologies – with a fleet of mobile nitrogen vaporizers in combination with mobile vapor combustion units, we can offer the degassing of products like LNG, green ammonia and hydrogen as well. As these examples show, innovation is an important part of our daily work to keep helping our clients in an efficient and flexible way.

E.E: Tell us about product innovation and how will it impact the future?

D.W: As you can see, product innovation is a very important topic, especially in our field of operation – mobile degassing and emissions reduction services have nowadays become a standard, the challenge we face now is to optimize our technologies so they can be applied to broader fields of operation. Emissions reduction is a complex topic and the expansion of current technologies is an essential part of efficient emissions reduction. Another example of product innovation we currently work on is that we want to make our technologies suitable for working with NOx emissions. Nitrogen oxides – for instance nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – are highly reactive gases that have significant impact on both the environment and human health. To improve the air quality and prevent further health issues caused by NOx emissions, we are expanding our services so that they are suitable for NOx degassing services, too. 

E.E: How will product innovation help the customers?

D.W: These examples show: product innovation is an important part of our daily work and ensures that the possibilities of emissions reduction services are expanded. Many innovative ideas emerge in our everyday work at our customer’s sites – does a customer have a requirement or application that cannot be fulfilled with our existing technologies? Then we do everything to make it possible! Our innovative strength was recognized as we were named one of the most innovative German medium-sized companies for three years in a row in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Furthermore, we participated in an innovation competition for industrial decarbonisation in Malysia earlier this year. At the event hosted by a major oil company, we presented our innovative technologies and services in Kuala Lumpur and reached a top 20 position – out of more than 500 companies and organisations that submitted over 3,000 ideas for the competition. We are proud of these successes that show our strength when it comes to innovative processes and products that enable customers to efficiently reduce their carbon footprint.

E.E: What are the industry trends in the markets you are currently active?

D.W: As already mentioned, reducing emissions, improving the air quality and environmental protection in general are of the uttermost importance in the industry. Many solutions and technologies are being implemented to make operations more sustainable. This trend is to be continued in 2024 to ensure that the environment as well as human health are protected. These newly implemented technologies and solutions need to be efficient so they improve the supply chain and must guarantee to be legally compliant.

E.E: What do you think the trends will be next year?

D.W: As the awareness for more sustainable operations and the reduction of hazardous emissions is continuously growing in the industry, we will be seeing even more alternative products, energy sources and fuels being introduced. Besides LNG, green ammonia or hydrogen, we expect the implementation of further alternative and sustainable energy sources and fuels such as bio-ethanol, bio-methanol, e-naphtha or e-dimethylether. This requires the implementation of the necessary infrastructures such as terminals or containers in the supply chain as well.

E.E: What is the outlook for 2024?

D.W: We expect a persistent demand for green tech solutions for emission reduction for 2024. As fuels and energy sources are more and more changing – away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable substances –, the necessary infrastructures are changing, too. However, even though the energy footprint is changing and becoming more sustainable and greener, there will always be a need for tanks, refineries, degassing and environmental services of all kind. We therefore expect a continuous rise in the demand for our emissions reduction and degassing services and green tech solutions. In order to enable more customers to reduce their emissions, we aim to further expand our business to new markets such as the GCC states.