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Argus Methanol Forum 2017

*Topics, speakers and session timing are subject to change

Monday, September 11, Workshops and Opening Cocktail Reception
 15:30- 17:30 Preconference Workshops
Included in conference registration
15:30 - 16:00
Workshop A: Converting biomass to liquid fuels and methanol: Almost any kind of carbon, from fossil resources to biomass to CO2, can be unlocked for fuel and chemical use through C1 chemistry. What are the new research technologies for convert biomass to liquid fuels and methanol? The markets are watching yield as well as evaluating a “methanol to gasoline” type process that accesses a high octane alkylate-like blendstock, with yields that beat traditional MTG technologies. What are the new routes to accessing synthetic jet fuel, starting with methanol to supplement liquid transportation fuels? How are North American producers capitalizing on the renewable fuels incentives and conversion technologies?
  • Research technologies to convert domestic biomass to liquid fuels and methanol
  • Evaluate a “methanol to gasoline” type process that accesses a high octane alkylate-like blendstock, with yields that beat traditional MTG technologies.
  • Explore a new route to accessing synthetic jet fuel, starting with methanol to supplement liquid transportation fuels with methanol-derived premium analogues
Jesse Hensley, Ph.D., PE
Supervisor – Catalysis Research & Engineering
16:00 - 16:30
Workshop B: Methanol technologies- Waste to methanol: With urban landfill space being harder to come by and a spotlight shining on waste diversion, the benefits of utilizing waste to produce methanol are clear. How does this low cost feedstock allow you to produce methanol while reducing your carbon footprint?
  • Assess this low cost feedstock
  • Understand how this will impact your renewable fuels mandates around the world 
  • Discuss how this method will decrease the carbon footprint and GHG emissions 
Tim Cesarek
Senior Vice President, Business Development
16:30 - 17:00  Workshop C: Use CO2 recovery to increase methanol plant capacity: The Ecnamine FG PlusSM process recovers carbon dioxide from the SMR stack, and the recovered CO2 is added to the methanol process as feedstock – resulting in big performance gains. Adding CO2 to the SMR feed or synthesis loop feed increases the methanol production by about 22% compared to using only natural gas as feed stock; this can be applied to a retrofit or a new design. CO2 recovery can also be applied to retrofits of SMR-based plants by adding CO2 to the purge gas and sending the combined stream to a new purge converter; this can increase plant capacity by about 35%.
  • Understand how to recover carbon dioxide from the SMR stack and options for adding it to the process 
  • Evaluate the optimum location to add the recovered CO2 to the process and increase methanol production by about 22% 
  • Consider the use of CO2 recovery combined with the addition of a purge converter to increase plant capacity by about 35% for existing SMR-based plants 
Jim Loney, PE
Director - Process Engineering
17:00 - 17:30  Workshop joint interactive Q&A segment
17:30 - 19:30 Opening Networking Reception and Registration

Sponsored by Southern Chemical Corporation
Open to all event attendees
Tuesday, September 12 Main Conference, Day 1;
07:30 – 08:30  Registration and breakfast

Sponsored by Atlantic Methanol
08:30 - 08:35 Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
08:35 - 9:30

Morning Keynote Presentation: The effects of China’s growth in the global market: This opening keynote presentation will provide details to the biggest trends for business and politics today in China; a key region for the methanol industry. There will be specific interest around the world-changing effects of China’s rapid growth and the all-pervasive changes for individuals, businesses and governments.
  • Understand recent developments for business and politics in China
  • Explore how these trends are impacting the global marketplace 
  • Assess how China’s rapid growth is continuing to influence business and government 
Ted Fishman
Global Economic Expert and Author
China, Inc. and Shock of Gray
09:30 - 10:30 Session 1: Global Market Trends

Crude market overview:
How are geopolitical considerations affecting crude production, how will global supply impact pricing and what might we expect for the light/heavy spreads?
  • Hear an overview of the global E&P market for crude 
  • Assess anticipated production for 2017 and beyond
  • Explore geopolitical considerations and trends in OPEC
Bernadette Johnson
VP - Market Intelligence
Drilling Info, Inc.

Natural gas market synopsis: Widespread hydraulic fracturing continues to create large surpluses of reasonably priced natural gas in the United States, providing widespread benefits to many; including the methanol industry.
  • Understand how the current natural gas prices are impacting the methanol markets
  • Review current and future supply and demand
  • Review transportation shifts that impact the Gulf Coast methanol markets
  • Assess expected production and pricing trends for natural gas
Brian Pieri
Marketing/Midstream - NG, NGL, and Crude
LINN Energy, LLC
10:30 - 11:00  Morning Networking Break

Sponsored by Johnson Matthey
11:00 - 12:30 Session 2: Economics, Global Outlook and Derivatives

Natural gas capacity, metrics and markets: This presentation will discuss details on production metrics, reserve base and fields. Additionally we will assess the current monetization channels and provide an overview of LNG projects.
  • Discuss details on production metrics, reserve base and fields. 
  • Assess the current monetization channels 
  • Hear an overview of LNG projects
Mark Gyetvay
Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chairman of the Management Board
Economics and the US petrochemical industry: Over the past decade there has been a variety of changes that are having significant impacts on the petrochemical industry. 
  • Explore how increased exports are impacting the supply and demand balance
  • Assess how shifts in end user consumption is effecting the overall methanol industry 
Dr. Thomas Kevin Swift, CBE
Director and Chief Economist
American Chemistry Council

Project spotlight and global methanol outlook: With the continued low oil price environment we are faced with, we will assess the potential outlook for methanol projects in the next five years.
  • Assess the potential outlook for methanol projects in the next five years
  • Understand how delayed methanol plant startups will impact pricing down the road. 
  • Discover the potential demand from the MTO sector and discuss expectations to become more competitive than traditional outlets
Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
12:30 – 14:00 Networking Luncheon

Sponsored by G2X Energy
14:00 - 14:30  Session 3: Russian methanol demand and need for increased capacity: This presentation will take a deep dive into the Russian methanol and petrochemical markets assessing current demand and expectations for trends going forward.
  • Analyze trends in the Russian methanol and petrochemical markets
  • Hear details on planned projects, timelines for completion and how this is expected to affect overall capacity in Russia and the surrounding region
Vitalii Protasov
Business Development Director
Baltic Gas Chemical Company
14:30 - 15:30 Panel Discussion: Regional Analysis- Global Methanol Spotlight: Join our panel of experts as we take a deep dive into key areas of focus for the global methanol market. Hear vital details on:
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia
Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service

Becky Zhang
Petrochemical Analyst

Roel Salazar

Methanol & Derivatives Consultant
 15:30 - 16:00 Afternoon Networking Break

Sponsored by Haldor Topsoe
16:00 - 17:30 Session 4: Methanol Derivatives and Traditional Demand Sectors

Assessing the future of the biodiesel markets
: EPA has proposed renewable fuel volumes for biodiesel in 2017 and 2018. We can now take a closer look at the recent history and expectations for the biodiesel industry.
  • Analyze specifics of the EPA renewable fuel volumes for biodiesel and expectations for the industry moving forward. 
  • Hear expectations for the global industry and details to meet various environmental and regulatory requirements 
  • Understand the corresponding impact on greenhouse gas reductions
Gene Gebolys
Founder, President & CEO
World Energy

Dimethyl ether (DME) as a diesel alternative: As diesel demand grows, it creates new opportunities for cleaner burning fuels derived from abundant US natural gas as a cheaper alternative.
  • Evaluate diesel demand and explore how dimethyl ether can impact the market
  • Understand how abundant US natural gas makes this a cheaper alternative
  • Assess engine conversion costs and current infrastructure vs current demand 
Rebecca Boudreaux
Oberon Fuels

Global MTO
: Methanol is now an increasingly relevant component of the olefin supply chain, and has become yet another contributor to the instability in the market.
  • Understand how methanol has is impacting the olefin supply chain. 
  • Assess regional shifts in cracker feed slates and on-purpose production technologies
  • Explore surprising trends for ethylene and propylene globally as well if global supply is expected to match demand 
Jimmy Levine
VP, Olefins - Ethylene
17:30 - 17:35 Chairpersons closing comments and conclusion of day 1 conference sessions

Dave McCaskill

Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
17:35 - 19:35 Evening Cocktail Reception
Open to all event attendees
Wednesday, September 13 Main Conference, Day 2
07:30 – 08:30  Registration and breakfast

Sponsored by International Process Plants
08:30 - 08:45 Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
08:45 - 09:30

Session 4: Methanol on the Water

Methanol as a marine fuel and potential into other emerging energy markets
: Methanol is the world’s most widely shipped chemical commodity, and there is now an historic opportunity to move methanol from ship’s cargo holds to their fuel bunkers. Methanol’s use as a marine fuel provides shippers and port facilities with an affordable option for compliance with tightening emission requirements. Produced from a wide range of feedstocks – including a variety of renewable pathways – methanol provides an ideal “future proof” pathway to sustainable shipping.
  • Examine potential market development strategies to advance the use of methanol as a marine fuel
  • Provide a comprehensive list of all research and development projects with methanol as a marine fuel
  • Explore other emerging energy markets for methanol
  • Assess the “Trump Effect” for fuel markets
Greg Dolan
Methanol Institute
09:30 – 10:00 IMO and the new MARPOL regulations: Most methanol companies have their own fleets but sulfur regulations will impact the methanol markets dramatically.
  • Analyze the MARPOL regulations from a legal and environmental perspective
  • Understand details on enforcement and exemptions
  • Evaluate the landscape for exemptions and compliance standpoint 
Brendan Collins
Environment & Natural Resources Partner
Ballard Spahr LLP
10:00 - 10:30 Morning Networking Break

Sponsored by Enerkem
10:30 - 11:00  China's Dominance in the Global Methanol Market: As China’s demand for methanol remains the main driver for pricing, we will assess expected shifts in the market and provide additional insight to China’s dominance in the market. 
  • Explore key factors in China’s methanol market dominance
  • Evaluate China’s ongoing fuel substitution
  • Hear an outlook for production and project updates
Becky Zhang
Petrochemical Analyst
11:00 - 12:00 Interactive Panel Discussion: What’s next for the methanol industry?
  • How are senior executives viewing the next 3-5 years?
  • What are the challenges for North American units coming online?
  • New commercial models for methanol production and distribution in North America
  • Opportunities for boutique methanol processing units near large onshore gas fields
  • Simplication of the methanol supply chain for smaller end-users 
  • And other key considerations! 
Frank Bakker
US Methanol LLC

Tim Cesarek
Senior Vice President, Business Development

Mark Fields

President, Energy & Chemicals Americas

Charlie Yao

Chief Executive Officer
Yuhuang Chemical, Inc.

Ross Gale
Director of Acquisitions
International Process Plants

12:00 - 13:30 Networking Luncheon

Sponsored by OCI
13:30 - 16:30 Sulphuric Acid Markets Post Conference Workshop

Additional Registration Required- $395
13:30 - 14:00 North American sulphuric acid - Supply/demand outlook this bid season
  • Changes in supply and distribution
  • Import volumes
  • Fertilizer and industrial demand
David Tonyan
Argus North American Sulphur and Sulphuric Acid
14:00 - 14:30 Base metals update
  • Outlook for copper consumption and what that might mean for sulphuric acid supply

Sean Davidson
Editor of Metals

 14:30 - 15:00 Consumer's report: Anuvia’s production process and demand for sulphuric acid
  • Case study on new manufacturing process and how that can impact demand
N.R. (Norm) Davy
Vice President of Agriculture
15:00 - 15:30 Afternoon Networking Break

Sponsored by Haldor Topsoe, Inc.
15:30 - 16:00 Sulphuric acid transportation and logistics
  • Supply chain challenges
  • Regulations impacting shipments
Tom Hobbs
Director of Sales and Technical Service
NorFalco, a Glencore Company

Brendan Wallage

Logistics and Procurement
NorFalco, a Glencore Company
16:00 - 16:30 WSA technology: A competitive solution for sulfur management

Livia Sierra Llorens

Technology Specialist, Catalyst & Technology
Haldor Topsoe, Inc.
16:30 - 19:00 Evening Cocktail Reception

Co-located with Argus Americas Petroleum Coke Summit

Sponsored by Impala Terminals

Sabic 170

SCC logo 165

Atlantic Methanol
Johnson Matthey-170

Haldor Topsoe  


G2X Energy 170

International Process Plants

Metor 170
Chiyoda International Corporation

BD Energy Systems

Find out more about the venue!

  • Directions from both Houston airports
  • Nearby attractions

The Woodlands, Texas
Marriott Waterway 

Marriott Woodlands

Raise your profile, showcase your solutions and meet industry decision makers.

Sponsorship opportunities

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