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Getting to know Charles Price, Fuel Infrastructure Director

Meet the people behind our success as we unveil the stories, passions, and expertise of our dedicated team. Discover how their experience enables us to become a trusted environmental services partner for clients across the UK. This time, let's get to know Charles Price, Fuel Infrastructure Director.

How did you become Fuel Infrastructure Director?

It wasn't your typical career path, that's for sure!

My background is a bit unusual – I have experience in both high-hazard operations and contracting across oil, gas, chemicals and defence infrastructure projects across the UK and internationally. Then, my time at ICI, Alderley and the OPA really gave me a well-rounded understanding of process industry infrastructure, not just domestically, but on a global scale. I learned everything from the nuts and bolts of the infrastructure itself to the people who make it all work: the operators, customers, and suppliers.

But I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty either. For years, I honed my technical skills as a senior project manager, building oil and gas modules for clients all over the world. This involved expertise in chemical production (including hydrogen), oil and gas fiscal metering, storage, water treatment, separation, and analysis – the real nitty-gritty of what keeps this industry running smoothly. In fact, the only continent I haven't set foot on professionally is South America – which goes to show you the ground I've covered in my career.

One of the most valuable assets I bring to the table is my in-depth knowledge of the technologies, commercial issues, legislation, and safety standards that govern fuel infrastructure projects around the world.

What is the biggest change you've seen in the industry?

Digitalisation. There's been a significant step forward in ERP systems and control technology; information technology meets operational technology (IT v OT). This allows our clients to gather far more data than ever before. Combine that with advancements in AI and machine learning, and you've got a potential whole new level of insight that can drive process efficiencies – if used diligently.

Another major shift has been the migration of equipment manufacturing and production to lower-cost countries. While this brings obvious benefits, it also introduces new complexities. The entire supply chain has had to adapt to this changing landscape, and Covid has demonstrated how fragile these global ecosystems can be.

Where do you see opportunities for Adler and Allan?

The reality is hydrocarbons are going to be around for a long time, however we are on a path to decarbonisation and electrification of transport offers huge opportunities for the energy division.

This means legacy energy vectors still provide us with a stable business for some time, from which we can adapt, invest, and meet the opportunities offered in a decarbonised world.

Saying that, globally we seem to be investing vast sums chasing some energy vectors that are hugely inefficient instead of investing this scare capital in the low-hanging 'energy transition' fruit; we need to be critical at Adler and Allan how we invest to meet these challenges.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

I'd say the privatisation of the UK NATO pipeline system (GPSS) for the Ministry of Defence. It involved changing primary legislation and communicating with no fewer than 7,000 landowners! A huge, complex undertaking that involved collaboration across various government departments, but ultimately, a fantastic team effort.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Well, I love to cook – it's a great way to unwind after a busy day. Skiing, when I can get to the mountains. And I'm a big rugby fan, following both Gloucester and international matches.

However, my true passion lies on two wheels. I'm a self-proclaimed petrolhead, mainly motorcycles, with a collection that includes a number of British, American, Austrian, Italian and Japanese bikes.

I’ve just returned from a two-week trip to Goa, Karnatica, and Andra Prudesh in India – a real eye opener and fantastic food!

Looking ahead, what excites you most about 2024?

I'm really looking forward to the safe and profitable implementation of a major contract for a key defence client. This project involves the construction of a new aviation fuel storage facility, complete with loading and offloading capabilities.

In addition to this, we have the next two-year contract for major maintenance upgrades at one of the USAFE bases coming up for renewal and we need to secure this to maintain our number-one position in defence aviation fuel maintenance and project services.

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