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2018 advisory board leaders and expert speakers:

Giulio Volpi
Keynote Speaker: Giulio Volpi, DG Energy, Unit Renewables and Carbon Capture and Storage Policy, European Commission

Giulio Volpi has extensive experience in the field of European clean energy and climate change policy. He has worked for the Directorate General for Energy since 2011, focusing on European renewable energy policy, including bioenergy sustainability. Giulio joined the European Commission in 2008, working first on international environmental relations for the Directorate General for Environment. Before joining the commission, Giulio worked in Latin America for several years, co-ordinating a number of projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Prior to that, he worked in Brussels for non-governmental organisations and private-sector firms on European renewables and energy efficiency policy. Giulio holds an MSc in environmental management and an MA in political sciences. He has completed advanced studies on the regulation of energy markets at the European University Institute.
Thomas Dalsgaard  Keynote Speaker: Thomas Dalsgaard, Executive Vice President,  Ørsted

Mr Thomas Dalsgaard is Executive Vice President of Ørsted, has been a member of Ørsted’s group management since 2011, and is responsible for Bioenergy & Thermal Power. The business unit comprises Ørsted’s power and heat stations and its bioenergy business, including Renescience, our innovative enzyme-based solutions for waste processing and recycling. Recently, we have also been tasked with building Ørsted’s activities within energy storage and solar PV – two potential substantial growth areas for the company. The business unit has 800 employees, an annual turnover of approx USD 1 bn and an annual capex budget of USD 0,3 – 0,5 bn. Prior to joining Ørsted in 2008, Thomas held a position as senior economist with the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. Other previous positions include head of the management and board Secretariat with Ørsted during 2003-2004, head of division with the Danish Ministry of Finance during 2001-2003, senior economist with the OECD in Paris during 1998-2001 and special advisor for the Danish Ministry of Finance during 1993-1998. Thomas holds a M.Sc in Economics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is 52 years old, is married to Dorte and has four children.

 Thomas Meth Keynote Speaker: Thomas Meth, Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Enviva

Thomas is a co-founder and Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at the Enviva family of companies. Enviva is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, with sales of over 2.3mn t in 2016. Thomas has led Enviva’s global sales and marketing team since the company was founded, developing strategies and contracts for utility, industrial and commercial customers in the US, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. He also is responsible for Enviva’s sustainability and public affairs initiatives. Enviva has seven wood pellet manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, and two deep-water marine terminals with transatlantic export capabilities at Chesapeake, Virginia, and Wilmington, North Carolina. Enviva Partners completed its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2015, becoming the first publicly traded, master limited partnership that focuses on renewable energy production. The publication Environmental Finance named Enviva’s IPO its bioenergy deal of the year. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. He lives in Washington, DC.

Alexander Afansyev, Peltrade

Alexander Afanasyev, Managing Director, PelTrade 

Alexander co-founded Peltrade, a wholesale supplier of biomass to the UK and other EU countries, in 2012. The company has grown significantly since then, from moving just one container load a month to thousands of tonnes, and is now one of the UK’s biggest premium pellet trading and wholesaling firms. Alexander graduated from Moscow State Technical University in 2005 with a degree in Engineering and in 2007 in Economics. He then traded various asset classes for banks and asset management companies. In 2012 he took an MBA at Cass Business School in London, before founding Peltrade with another graduate. Alexander launched a wholesale wood pellet business in Italy in 2014 and in 2016 started Reneport Trading, which specialises in supplying the bulk of the UK market through a chain of ENplus screening depots.

 Tiago Andrade Tiago Andrade, Director, Wood Pellet Services

Tiago Andrade is the Founder and Director of Wood Pellet Services (WPS), a brokerage, agency and consultancy firm with a large portfolio of wood pellet supply under management. 
His early career in Portuguese multinationals gave him access to knowledge and contacts, particularly in the renewable sector.

In 2004, Tiago identified the opportunity to create a wood pellet industry in Portugal, replicating this work in Spain in 2007. In 2010, WPS expanded its consultancy work to the Americas, extending its brokerage and agency activities there in 2012. Tiago holds a BBM honours degree in management and business administration, and an MBA in business information from the Catholic University in Porto, Portugal.
 Frank Askov Frank Aaskov, Policy Analyst, REA

Frank Aaskov has worked in renewable energy policy for over five years. An alumni of King’s College London, he has a background in environmental politics and political science. Frank leads on renewable heat at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which he joined in 2014, where he covers the Renewable Heat Incentive, sustainability issues for biomass heat and power, air quality issues and other policies relating to renewable heat. Frank manages the Wood Heat Association, which bring together wood fuel suppliers, installers, energy companies, and developers to advocate for the use of sustainable wood heating to decarbonise the UK’s heating sector. He also supports the UK Pellet Council and the REA’s Biomass Power Group.
 Vaughan Basset Vaughan Bassett, Senior Vice President Sales & Logistics, Pinnacle Renewable Energy

Mr. Bassett has an extensive international career in international business, particularly in the forest products industry, in increasingly more senior commercial and logistical roles. He was appointed Senior Vice President, Sales & Logistics of Pinnacle in May 2011, where he is responsible for the pellet marketing, sales, sustainability, logistics and trading activities of the company. He is responsible for leading the development into new markets, where current activity is focused on Asia. Mr. Bassett is well connected to most other biomass producers in Canada and is an active Director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, where he is serving as Vice President. He has represented Pinnacle and the Canadian wood pellet producers many times in international forums throughout Asia, Europe and North America and works closely with the Sustainable Biomass Partnership on sustainability strategy. He also provides practical and useful direction to wood pellet research within the University of British Columbia. Mr. Bassett is a Director of the Advisory Board of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (BC) and is currently serving as its Vice Chairman. He also serves as a member of the Prince Rupert Port Authority Port Users Nominating Committee. 

Previously, Mr. Bassett spent almost 20 years with Sappi, a global pulp and paper company. As their executive in charge of their world-wide pulp sales, he was stationed in Hong Kong for 10 years before moving to Canada in 2007. He started up his own green business in Canada, did some consulting work and also taught export management and international logistics at Humber Business School in Toronto. Mr. Bassett earned his BSc from the University of Natal and his MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, both located in South Africa.

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Luke Bailey, Senior Policy Manager, Non-Domestic RHI, Ofgem

Luke is a senior policy manager involved in the administration of the non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) at Ofgem. With his team he is responsible for ensuring that all regulatory changes are effectively introduced into the day to day running of the scheme. Luke is leading on the introduction of the RHI reforms for spring 2017. Luke joined Ofgem in 2014 first working on the renewables obligation scheme before moving to the non-domestic RHI. Starting as the compliance manager for the scheme he moved to his current policy role in 2016. Luke holds an MSc from Oxford Brookes University in environmental assessment and management.
 Andrew Belousov Andrew Belousov, Head of Sales, Marketing and Logistics, OJSC Bionet

Andrew Belousov has been involved in the biomass industry since joining Bionet in 2013. He has participated in the project since the design stage and held the positions of construction manager and processing engineer during plant commissioning. He is now responsible for trading and logistics operations. The Bionet team is working on further development projects, including the construction of a number of new plants for the EU and Asian markets, with a target of 500,000t of annual production.
Hugues de Cherisey
Hugues de Cherisey, General Secretary, SNCB

Hugues de Cherisey has been an independent consultant since 2003, running projects on a number of topics related to the different uses of biomass, such as bio-materials, bio-chemicals and cosmetics. He has experience in research and development, marketing and management. Hugues is secretary-general of French wood pellet producers association SNPGB. He holds a doctorate in plant genetics.
 Michael Corten

Michael Corten, Chief Executive, Belgian Eco Energy (Bee)

Michael Corten gained extensive management experience across various sectors through a career at smaller firms and large international groups. As a commercial engineer specialising in industrial management (University Hasselt & University Leipzig), he started his career in the chemicals business with EOC and BASF, where he developed new business strategies and led several teams. 

Since 2003, Michael has worked in energy, setting up and leading the Belgian arm of Dutch utility Eneco, and taking the leading role in development and operation of several renewable energy plants. In 2010, Michael set up Belgian Eco Energy (Bee) with two partners. Bee is involved in development, financing, construction and operation of biomass and wind projects, as well as trading the energy produced. Today, Bee has a portfolio of 10 wind projects and 3 biomass projects.

Arnold Dale
Arnold Dale, Vice President Bio-Energy, Ekman & Co.

Arnold is vice-president bioenergy at Ekman & Co in Gothenburg, Sweden. Ekman is one of the world’s leading sales and marketing organisations, focusing on the global forestry industry. He is responsible for the sale and marketing of wood pellets, including the 900,000t of wood pellets produced by Vyborgskaya in Russia. Before joining Ekman, Arnold was sales director at Swedish pellet producer Latgran in Latvia. Arnold has recently been elected chairman of the European Industrial Pellet Suppliers (EIPS) group and is a board member of The European Pellet Council (EPC).
 Michael Dalton

Michael Dalton, International Commercial Manager, Georgia Biomass

As International Commercial Manager, Michael is responsible for managing commercial operations and sales for 750,000 t/yr US producer Georgia Biomass. The firm is an ENplus A1 and PFI certified producer, and Michael negotiates sales and off-take agreements into the industrial market, and the US and EU heating markets. He is the direct liaison with clients and is responsible for optimising the value chain downstream of manufacturing. With Europe being Georgia Biomass’ principal market, Michael is based in Madrid, Spain.

Mark Elles

Mark Elles
, Technology ManagerBioenergy Technologies Office, Department of Energy, USA

Dr. Elless is a Technology Manager in the Bioenergy Technologies Office, with a focus on feedstock supply and logistics. Prior to joining BETO in 2012, Mark was the Grants and Alliances Manager at FuturaGene, which focuses on development of woody biomass for biofuel production. Before FuturaGene, Mark was the Director of Grants and Technology at Edenspace Systems Corporation, which focuses on the engineering of lignocellulosic biomass for enhanced biofuel production. Mark received a B.S. degree in Geology and a M.S. degree in Soil Science from North Dakota State University as well as a PhD in Soil Science from the University of Maryland. He completed his postdoctoral training at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mark has published over 20 peer-reviewed papers and has served on several review panels for the federal government.

 Ben Elsworth Ben Elsworth, Chief Executive Officer, MGT Teeside

Ben Elsworth has worked in the UK Power industry since 1999 starting as a power market analyst at London Electricity and then Enron. He was later a founding member of the team responsible for the first large scale co-firing in the UK at AEP’s Ferrybridge plant, and was responsible for purchasing the first ever UK cargo of imported biomass for energy. In 2004 Elsworth co-founded Renewable Fuel Supply Ltd, a market leading supplier of biomass for co-firing at that time, and then spent 2 years at EDF Energy managing biomass supply and contracting for coal logistics for 4 GW of generating capacity. Elsworth co-founded MGT Power in late 2007 to develop grid-scale biomass power stations, becoming CEO in 2012. He is now CEO of MGT Teesside, which is the owner of a 299 MW biomass power station in construction.

 Martin Englisch Martin Englisch, Managing Director, BEA Institute für Bioenergie

Martin Englisch Ph.D. is the Managing Director of BEA Institute für Bioenergie GmbH; a consulting and engineering company specialized in biomass pellets and biomass heating systems including torrefaction. The company supplies biofuel testing (lab analysis), pellet certification (ENplus), plant engineering and produces lab equipment for biofuel testing. Formerly, he was head of a department for energy from biomass in a large research institute for 15 years. 

He was senior expert in EU projects e.g. BioNorm, Phydades, Astwood, BioHousing, Sector. He is involved in evaluation of national and international projects (e.g. for EU commission). He holds a Master in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Wien, and Ph.D. from the Faculty for Chemical Technology, University of Twente, Netherlands.

 laura tovey fall Laura Tovey-Fall, Editor, Biomass, Argus

Laura has been with Argus since June 2013. Before becoming editor or Argus Biomass Markets she worked on the European Natural Gas report, covering the Belgian, French and emerging Spanish gas markets. Prior to that, she worked abroad for two years —in China, Ghana, Mexico and then Argentina —and then worked for five years as an analyst for the alcoholic drinks market, primarily covering Latin America. Laura has a degree in English Literature from Cardiff University and a postgraduate diploma in Economics from Birkbeck, University of London.
Pharoah Le Feuvre
Pharoah Le Feuvre, Renewable Energy Division, International Energy Agency

Pharoah Le Feuvre is based in the Renewables Energy Division of the International Energy Agency (IEA), and carries out analysis of bioenergy for heat and power and transport biofuel markets. Originally from Scotland, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management and Technology from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and a master’s in Energy Systems and the Environment from Glasgow’s Strathclyde University. He has worked in the field of renewable energy in local government, as well as for an energy consultancy and an energy utility, and has also managed renewable power and heat subsidy schemes for UK energy regulator Ofgem. Pharoah joined the IEA in 2015 and is based in Paris.
Vilma Gaubyte, LITBIOMA
Vilma Gaubyte, Director, LITBIOMA

Vilma has been director of Lithuanian biomass association LITBIOMA since 2014. She worked as Assistant-Secretary in Lithuania’s parliament in 2012-15, and in 2015-16 was a project manager at non-governmental organisation The Green Policy Institute. Vilma was elected as a board member of European biomass association Aebiom in November 2016.
Gilles Gauthier

Gilles Gauthier
, General Manager, European Pellet Council (AEBIOM)

Gilles Gauthier currently works as a bioenergy expert for European biomass association Aebiom and as general manager of the European Industry of Pellet Suppliers (EIPS) and the European Pellet Council (EPC). He mainly works on pellet issues such as ENplus certification management, market data, pellet safety and communication.
His background is as an industrial engineer with a specialisation in agriculture and the environment. He previously spent more than two years working as a project engineer for a Belgian agropellets producer. He was in charge of R&D before assuming responsibility for agropellets formulation and sales. Gilles later worked for Belgian biomass association ValBiom, initially in charge of energy crops and wood pellets, before becoming the association’s co-ordinator.
Seth Ginther

Seth Ginter
, Executive Director, USIPA

Seth Ginther is Executive Director of the US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) and Co-Managing Partner of Hirschler Fleischer's Renewable Energy Practice Group. 
As Executive Director of USIPA, Seth represents the interests of the US-based industrial pellet industry with a focus on issues such as specifications, certifications, sustainability, uniformity of contracts, shipping and other exporting issues such as port infrastructure and transportation. 
In the energy area, Seth routinely represents renewable energy businesses in project finance, negotiating and drafting power purchase agreements, recapitalisations, mergers and acquisitions and multi-state and federal legislative and regulatory matters. Seth, together with other members of Hirschler Fleischer's Renewable Energy Practice Group, has advised clients involved in a broad spectrum of renewable and alternative energy-related projects, and closed renewable energy transactions worth in excess of $500mn in the past 24 months.Seth earned a BA in Political Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a JD from the University of Richmond, TC Williams School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Richmond Journal of Law and Public Interest. From 2002 to 2005, Seth served the Commonwealth of Virginia as Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Commerce and Financial Law. 

 Brodie Govan Brodie Govan, Biomass Broker, Voyage Power

Brodie Govan joined the PVM Environmental Products team in 2013 to broker biomass following five years with Argus. Since moving to PVM, Brodie has been focused on brokering physical spot and long-term biomass business out of the company’s London headquarters.While at Argus, he covered global freight markets before taking up a role on the Argus Biomass team where he helped to launch and manage the weekly market report and index. Before this, he spent two years at Brewin Dolphin Securities’ trading division. Following spells as a reporter for a local newspaper in the US state of Missouri and at Scotsman Publications in Edinburgh, Brodie spent time as a foreign correspondent in southeast Asia covering business, trade and travel news.

Carlsten Huljus
Carsten Huljus, Chief Executive Officer, SBP

Carsten joined SBP on 1 May 2016 as Chief Executive. He has a wealth of experience and a detailed understanding of forest management and chain of custody certification schemes, being involved in managing sustainability certifications for nearly 16 years.
Prior to joining SBP, he was Managing Director of GFA Certification, part of the GFA Consulting Group, which in 2000 became the first German company and certification body to be accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council. He joined GFA in 2002 and built a global operating certification business for sustainable forestry from scratch, adding Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes and legality verification to the service portfolio. He introduced co-operate quality management within the GFA group and headed the process until initial independent auditing against ISO 9001. Carsten built strong working relationships with the many stakeholders involved in the certification process. He understands the views of stakeholders and is experienced in addressing their concerns. Carsten holds a masters in international forestry from Georg-August University Gottingen.

Christian Joore
Christian Joore, Lead Trader, Vattenfall

Christian Joore is a senior commodity trading professional with over 15 years of extensive financial and physical trading experience in the global energy markets. He is currently responsible for commercial and business development activities in Vattenfall’s merchant biomass trading department. His role includes the optimisation of biomass flows from suppliers to internal and external customers, and increasing value creation through the development of upstream and downstream partnerships. Prior to joining Vattenfall in 2013, Christian worked as an energy trader for Essent Trading in the Netherlands and later for RWE Supply and Trading in Switzerland, managing various cross-commodity proprietary positions and asset-backed energy portfolios. Christian holds an MBA degree from the University of Groningen.

Deborah Keedy
Deborah Keedy, Head of Biomass, Drax

Deborah Keedy is responsible for global biomass procurement and biomass trading and optimisation. Deborah has over 19 years’ experience in the UK power sector and has held various commercial and business development positions for UK and international power companies.  Deborah worked with the commercial management team on the construction of Humber Power’s 1,260 MW gas fired power station, as well as with NRG Energy in their UK power business acquisition team. Deborah joined Drax in 2006 to help Drax achieve their expansive and progressive biomass strategy.  Deborah heads up the biomass team responsible for securing and delivering all of the biomass needed to meet Drax’s biomass projects. 
Raul Kirjanen
Raul Kirjanen, Chief Executive OfficerGraanul Invest

Raul Kirjanen is the founder and Chief Executive of Graanul Invest and has successfully grown the company to become the largest pellet producer in Europe. Today, Graanul Invest is involved in a wide range of activities in the biomass sector. It operates 11 pellet mills across the three Baltic states, and is one of the largest private-sector forest owners in Estonia. It has built and operates six CHP plants in the Baltic states and is currently working on developing energy supply solutions in the Benelux countries. Kirjanen’s responsibilities in the Graanul Invest group currently include developing various initiatives and overseeing all sales of the company’s products.
Marco Kim
Marco Kim, General Manager, Bio Power Business Division, Hanyang Corporation

Marco Kim is the General Manager of the Bio Power Business Division at Hanyang Corporation, focusing on biomass procurement planning for the Gwangyang biomass power plant project. Prior to this, Marco worked for Halla Corporation working with biomass suppliers in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Canada, and with SK Forest focusing on new business development in forestry and land-use, planning and building a new wood pellet plant in South Korea.
Yoshinobu Kusano

Yoshinobu Kusano
, Senior Advisor, Renova

Yoshinobu worked for Sumitomo from 2005, buying biomass for the major power producers of Japan for co-firing. From 2012, Yoshinobu assisted several IPPs in buying biomass for their dedicated biomass power stations. Between 2015 and 2017, Yoshinobu worked on Sumitomo’s acquisition of biomass manufacturing companies in Canada as well as investing equity in a Brazilian sugarcane-based biomass joint venture. Yoshinobu left Sumitomo in 2017 to take up an Executive Adviser position with Renova Japan, assisting the company’s investment in a renewable energy power generation project.
 Patrick Madigan Patrick Madigan, Head of Board, Mona Bioenergy

Patrick is Head of Board at Mona Bioenergy, the largest user of biomass in Ireland. The bioenergy business division has developed indigenous and international biomass supply chains. Supply chains have been developed in the US, Europe and a number of African countries. Patrick has expertise in wood fibre biomass supply chains — wood chip and wood pellets. This includes a deep understanding from standing timber in forest plantations, through the many different lumber processing operations to the end product. Patrick has conducted in depth studies of all significant wood fibre producing countries in the Atlantic basin, both north and south Atlantic. Patrick’s team has developed detailed wood fibre sustainability systems — environmental, greenhouse gas reduction, corporate social responsibility, responsible operations for workers in the supply chain — and wood fibre legality operating systems based on European Union Timber Legality (EUTR) requirements. Patrick was previously Operations Director for Balcas, a leading sawmill and wood pellet supplier in the UK and Ireland.

 Daniel Madrid Daniel Madrid, Head of Technical Office, Generandi

Forestry Engineer by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Responsible for Generandi’s Technical Office since 2012, where he specialized in the international market of pulpwood, panel and biomass, as well as in the Iberian market of industrial wood. He has been an auditor in the control of biomass volumes and stock in biomass power plants, and international litigations. Daniel is a member (spokesperson) of the Spanish Normalization Committee (CTN-164) of solid biofuels”.
Fabien Méhu, Head of Biomass Trading, Engie
Fabien Méhu, Head of Biomass TradingEngie

Fabien Méhu runs the biomass trading department within GDF Suez. He has worked in commodity markets for 12 years, having held various positions within the GDF Suez group. Fabien first worked in Paris for five years in the gas and LNG business before taking a power assets management and renewable certificate origination position in the UK. Fabien joined the Brussels-based coal, freight and biomass division in 2012, and became Head of Biomass Trading in 2014.  He holds a postgraduate degree in mathematics, economy and finance from the University of Sciences and Economy of Paris.
Gustav Melin

Gustav Melin
, Chief Executive Officer, SVEBIO (Swedish Bioenergy Association), Chief Executive Officer, SVEBIO (Swedish Bioenergy Association)

Gustav Melin, has a MSc in Agriculture from the Swedish University of Agriculture, Uppsala and has been active in bioenergy business since leaving the university. He is currently board member of AEBIOM, European Biomass Association and was its President for six years 2010-2016. He is an expert in energy crops, and worked 1988 - 2006 with developing plant material and machinery for Short Rotation Coppice Willows from 1994 as CEO of Agrobränsle AB. Gustav has great experience in policy regarding steering instruments and incentives and he is a great believer in the benefits from using carbon pricing and carbon tax. He had twelve years in the board of the Swedish Bioenergy Association before starting as CEO of the same organization in 2008, which is still his daily engagement. Beside the policy work at Svebio and Aebiom, Svebio owns and publish the magazines “Bioenergy International” and “Bioenergitidningen” Svebio also runs conferences as “World Bioenergy”, “Nordic Baltic Bioenergy” and “Advanced Biofuel Conference”.
Enrico Meneghetti
Enrico Meneghetti, Chief Executive Officer, Espe

Enrico has been involved in the Renewable Energies industry since he joined Espe in 2004. He started as a Project Manager, being involved in the development and construction of PV and hydropower plants. As Product Director, he managed the design and development of CHiP50 biomass cogenerator, and its promotion on the market. He has been Chief Executive Officer since 2016, being involved in the financial and legal aspects of the business, completing his wide experience in renewable energies.
James Mennel

James Mennell
, Chief Executive Officer, National Carbon Technologies

James A. Mennell, chief executive of National Carbon Technologies, has more than 25 years’ experience as a developer, board member, officer, adviser and investor for dozens of companies ranging from start-ups to some of the largest public and private companies in the world in the energy, bio-products and environmental products sectors — including Cargill, Koch Industries, POET, 3M and GE. James is the inventor of multiple patented bio-product and process technologies. He has founded, led and grown bio-based product and energy companies from concept through investment and growth to sale or partnerships with publicly traded multinational companies, and has helped develop billions of dollars of capital projects across North America. His experience includes serving as President of the bio-based products unit of Cliffs Natural Resources, founding and leading The Environmental Law Group, and investing and serving on the board of directors of biofuels, bio-based products, software, and wind and solar energy companies. James graduated as University Scholar (highest honour) from the University of South Dakota and received his Juris Doctor (with honours) and master’s degrees from Duke University.

Bertrand Meyer

Bertrand Meyer, Deputy Global Head Prime Solutions and Financing, BNP Paribas

Bertrand is Deputy Global Head of BNP Paribas Prime Solutions and Financing (PS&F) — Derivatives Execution and Clearing (DEC) covering corporate clients and cleared products. Bertrand joined BNP Paribas in 1995. He has more than 20 years’ experience in derivatives products including positions as a Trader and Risk Manager in Paris, Germany, New York and in London. Prior to his current position Bertrand was Managing Director of commodity derivatives with a focus on OTCs. 

 Gordon Murray Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Gordon graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry. After university, he began his career as a logger and eventually became the woodlands manager for a large British Columbia-based lumber manufacturer. In 1992, he started his own forest management company, which he operated successfully for the next 10 years.

Gordon embarked on a new course in 2002, setting up a practice as an independent corporate finance adviser specialising in the forest industry. He was involved in preparing business plans for wood pellet plants, and by 2008 was working on projects for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. He was appointed as the organisation’s executive director in 2009. 

Didzis Palejs

Didzis Palejs, PresidentAEBIOM

Didzis Palejs has worked in the wood energy industry for almost 20 years. He has mostly dealt with producing wood energy products such as wood chips, pellets and firewood, as well as handling and managing sales/logistics. He has worked for national and international companies of various sizes. Besides his everyday work at CM Biomass Partners, Mr Palejs was one of the founders and is chairman of Latvian biomass association Latbio. He is also president of European biomass association Aebiom.

Annalisa Paniz

Annalisa Paniz
, Director General, AIEL

Annalisa has 10 years of experience in quality management for the pellet sector. She is responsible for ENplus certification in Italy and is a member of the supervisory board of the European Pellet Council. She holds a Masters in forestry and environmental science.
Marc Pauchet
Marc Pauchet, Lead Dry Analyst, Research, Maersk Broker

Marc currently works at Maersk Broker, one of the world's leading shipbrokers providing services for the seaborne transportation of containers, dry bulk cargoes, oil and other commodities. Marc is involved in the research capacity of Maersk Broker, producing investment analysis on physical freight and freight derivative market as well as producing market analysis and forecasts, with a focus on the Dry Bulk sector.

Marc was previously with Maritime Strategies International (MSI), a research and consultancy firm that covers all areas of shipping. Prior to joining MSI, Marc fulfilled various roles in the shipping industry, including at a shipper, freight forwarder (Operations at DHL Global Forwarding) and shipping line (Equipment then Trade Analysis at Hyundai Merchant Marine). Marc holds a dual degree in business management, from Metropolitan University, and international trade and transport, from the Paris Novancia Business School. He completed his MSc in international trade and transport at Metropolitan University in 2009. Marc was elected as a board member to the Shipping Professional Network London in 2011.

Henry Pease

Henry Pease, Biomass Trader, RWE Supply & Trading

Henry Pease is a member of RWE Supply & Trading’s biofuels trading team, which buys and sells biomass for internal and external customers. Henry has extensive experience of sourcing biomass, particularly from North America and Europe. He has worked closely on the conversion of the UK-based Tilbury power plant from coal to biomass, and with the RWE Essent team on the co-fired biomass Amer power plant in the Netherlands. Prior to joining RWE, Henry developed and raised funding for a biomass combined heat and power and wood pellet plant in Belgium. He has an MBA from the University of Virginia.
Christian Rakos

Christian Rakos, Chief Executive Officer, proPellets Austria

Christian Rakos studied physics, philosophy and history at Vienna University of Technology. After holding positions at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Energy Agency and Ireland’s Renewable Energy Information Office, he became managing director of the Austrian pellet industry association, proPellets Austria. In 2010, he was elected president of the European Pellet Council.
 Yves Ryckmans Yves Ryckmans, Chief Technology Officer, Biomass, Engie Lab Laborelec

Yves Ryckmans is Chief Technology Officer, biomass, at Engie’s Laborelec unit, managing research and services for bio-energy applications within Engie and for third parties world-wide. He has been involved in the verification of sustainability criteria for solid biomass since 2005 and has been part of the Sustainable Biomass Partnership’s development group since 2013.

He joined Laborelec in 1989 as a nuclear energy research engineer. In 1999, Yves became head of the biomass Lab, where he initiated the development of fixed-bed and circulated fluidised-bed gasification of woody biomass at several Belgian and European projects. Yves graduated from Belgium’s Louvain-la-Neuve University where he conducted a PhD study on modelling heat transfer in furnaces. 
Laborelec works on technical issues in biomass-to-power applications with combustion or gasification, biomass fuel characterisation, biogas applications, torrefaction, biomass sustainability assessments and life-cycle studies.

 Tom Searle Tom Searle, Manager, Argus Consulting Services, Argus

Tom is a manager for projects team in London focused on the bioenergy sector with experience in trading, operations and project development.

Tom was the Sales & Marketing Manager for one of the UK’s largest wood pellet distributors. During a period of rapid growth he took over the day-to-day operations of the business helping to solidify its position as the largest supplier to the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors.
Tom joined Argus in 2012 and has over 10 years’ experience in the industry. He has worked on a large number of biomass and other energy projects since joining.

Robert Seehawer
Robert Seehawer, Business Development, EEX

Robert is business development manager at European Energy Exchange (EEX), the leading energy exchange in Europe which develops, operates and connects markets for energy and commodity products. He is responsible for identifying business opportunities, developing and implementing exchange products fitting market needs and enriching the exchange’s product portfolio. Robert is dedicated to global markets and has a record of developing environmental products. Prior to joining EEX, Robert worked as portfolio manager and fixed income trader for commodity companies and investment banks in London, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. He has a diploma degree in economics and a diploma degree in business administration from the University of Leipzig.
 Nina Skorupska Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, REA

Nina Skorupska is Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which covers all renewable technologies covering electricity, heat and transport, and includes energy storage and electric vehicles. Nina has over 30 years’ experience in the energy Industry, and started her career as a fuel specialist but moved quickly to managing power stations for RWE npower. After several senior roles in the RWE Group, her career there culminated with joining the board of RWE’s Dutch business, Essent, as chief technical officer, responsible for their electricity generation portfolio including new energy and sustainability developments. She is also vice president of the European Renewable Energy Federation and a member of the board of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) campaign. Nina was awarded a CBE in 2016 for her contribution to renewables and equality in energy. She was appointed to the board for Transport for London in September.
 Engir Son Evgeniy Son, Fuel Trader, Apeiron Agrocommodities

Engir Son is a commodity trading professional with over five years of physical biomass trading experience across Asia. He is currently responsible for commercial and business development activities at Apeiron Agrocommodities, a Singapore-based biomass and biofuels trading company.
Before joining Apeiron in 2016, Engir worked as a biomass trader for Samsung C&T in South Korea, managing various supplies from Russia and southeast Asia.

 Gernot Stadlober Gernot Stadlober, Managing Director, Stadlober

Gernot Stadlober graduated with a master’s degree in Wood Technology and Management in Vienna, Austria. During his studies he worked on many different projects internationally concerning biomass, in particular pelletizing and torrefaction projects for South America, Asia and Europe, including a six month study in Australia focused on renewable energy issues. 

As well as working in the family owned fuel business specialized on biomass fuels, but has been the head of the export department and currently the biggest reseller for pellets in bulk in Slovenia since 2009. The company was the first in Austria to professionally deliver wood pellets in bulk to end customers in specialized silo trucks. The company has also been significantly involved in implementing wood pellets as booming domestic fuel through the development of logistic and storage systems. Further, Gernot Stadlober is a lecturer for pellets logistic and storage systems at workshops organized by the Austrian Biomass Association. 

Freddie Staermose
Freddie Staermose, Vice-President, Generating Fuels and Dry Bulks, Argus

Freddie started work as a price reporter with ICIS Heren, covering commodities from power to gas to coal, before moving into the sharper end of the business with Noble Group, becoming their senior market analyst for thermal and coking coal. From there he moved to EdF where he worked as a fuel originator, working as part of a team that sourced 10mn t/yr of coal and 250,000 t/yr of biomass for UK power plants. Freddie joined Argus as business development manager in January 2014, focusing on growing the company’s coal, iron ore, petroleum coke and biomass indexation and coverage.

William Strauss
Bill Strauss, President, FutureMetrics

William (Bill) Strauss is the President and Founder of FutureMetrics. For more information, visit Bill and FutureMetrics are recognised as leading experts in the wood pellet sector. Bill is a thought leader and has published numerous papers on a variety of subjects relevant to the sector. He is also a founder and a director of Maine Energy Systems — visit — the largest manufacturer of European-style automatic pellet-fuelled central heating systems in North America. Bill is chief economist for the Biomass Thermal Energy Council based in Washington, DC. He served as the chief economist on the Maine Governors Wood-to-Energy Task Force in 2008. Bill was the 2012 recipient of the International Excellence in Bioenergy award and has been named as one of the most influential leaders in the biomass sector in 2016 by Argus Media. Bill has more than 40 years of strategic and policy planning, project management, data analysis, operations and modelling experience in the renewable energy sector, including 10 years of operating large waste-to-energy plants in the 1980s. He has an MBA specialising in finance and a PhD centred on economics and earth systems science.
 Filippo Valdata Filippo Valdata, Business Development Consultant, Intergroup MyFire

Filippo Valdata is the Co-founder and CEO of Creole — a consultancy specialising in green energy, biomass and biomass trading. He has been involved in a number of projects developing agricultural plantations, wood pellet plants and logistics facilities around the world. 
In 2016, Filippo became Business Development Manager for Interwest, the trading division of Italian logistics firm Intergroup. Interwest is the largest wood pellet importer and distributor in Italy, delivering more than 120,000t of premium wood pellets bagged and delivered to 800 domestic customers. 
He joined Global Renewables, the biomass division of Genoa-based steel trading firm Metco Group, in 2015 as Pellet Business Manager, where he helped develop the Italian wood pellet market as well as bagging and storage facilities — particularly in Sardinia, with Global Renewables securing over 50pc of the market. Prior to this, Filippo joined Italian biomass distributor Adriacoke in 2006 as a trader covering palm kernel shells, olive cake and chip wood.

 Seth Walker Seth Walker, Senior Economist, Director of Business Development, FutureMetrics

Seth Walker is Senior Economist and Director of Business Development for FutureMetrics. Seth has extensive knowledge and experience in the bioenergy and forest products sectors. Prior to joining FutureMetrics, Seth spent seven years leading the bioenergy services team at RISI as their Senior Bioenergy Economist. Seth was the author of RISI’s North American Bioenergy Forecast and the Global Pellet Outlook report. His previous experience also includes roles as an analyst of North American and international timber markets. Seth has presented at more than two dozen conferences in numerous countries across North America, Europe and Asia. Seth works in FutureMetrics consulting services and also is leading the development of new reports and products for the wood pellet sector. He holds a B.S. in Resource Economics and Commerce and an M.S. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island.
Michael Wild

Michael Wild, Managing Partner, Wild & Partner

Michael Wild, economist and engineer by education, is active in renewable energies for practically his entire 26 years professional career. He has pioneered Biomass fired district heating systems in Austria and conversion of coal fired systems to biomass in former socialist countries. The first internet based biomass trading platform (ABEX) was started by him in 1999. Until 2010 he led the international biomass trading company EBES creating numerous intercontinental supply chains for palm kernel shell, pellets and wood chips. From 2007 he took a leading position in torrefaction technology development forming also a consortium with Andritz AG. In 2012 he helped setting up within AEBIOM the International Biomass Torrefaction Council  IBTC whose members elected him president. Also from 2012 on he has been supporting Bridgewell Resources Ltd in developing their Biomass desk acting as their European Sales Manger.
 Michael Christensen, Trader, CM Biomass Partners Michael Christensen, Chief Operating Officer, CM Biomass
Søren Alsing, Head of Fuel, Bioenergy and Thermal Power, Ørsted
  Olga Bezlyudova, Director, Petrochemicals and Infrastructure, Direct Investments, Gazprombank
John Brick, Director, Premium Pellets
  Ralf Dickgreber, Head of Bulk and Freight Trading, Engie 
  Neil Eckert, Chairman, Incubex 
  Benjamin Gibson, Broker, Evolution Markets 
  Nigel Hildyard, Business Development Director, EP Invest 
  Phil Keating, Chief Executive Officer, American Biocarbon 
  Ted Kim, Manager, Samsung C&T 
  Remigijus Lapinskas, President, World Bioenergy Association 
  Justinas  Milašauskas, Senior Vice President, DAO Family
  Morten Nielsen, Biomass Procurement Officer, Hofor
  Paolo Perini, Owner, Segatifriuli 
  Søren Sripathy, Senior Biomass Originator, Power Fuel PurchaseØrsted  
  Jean-Michel Sylvestre, Chief Executive Officer, Charmont Investments 
  Erik Vial, General Manager, ProPellet France 

Ben Gibson, Vice-President, Biomass Markets, Evolution Benjamin Gibson currently heads up the Biomass Markets desk at energy brokerage Evolution Markets Ltd, with responsibility for spot market and structured brokerage services across all physical and financial biomass markets.

Evolution’s biomass desk covers spot market and long term business in traditional wood pellets, advanced biomass, agricultural residues and wood chips with a particular focus on contract optimization and structured contracts for European utilities. Alongside providing daily price discovery and execution services for a wide range of traditional wood pellet clients, Evolution Markets are assisting producers of advanced biomass products with developing commercial strategies to continue the relevance of coal-to-biomass conversions as a low carbon, baseload power alternative.

Prior to joining Evolution, Benjamin was a physical and financial shipbroker. He is based in London and holds an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University.

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