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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.

Harold Arnold
Harold Arnold, President, Fram Renewable Fuels
Harold Arnold has been involved in the forest industry his entire working life. He spent more than 23 years in the Forest Resources Division of Hercules and held the position of Western Region Superintendent prior to his leaving Hercules in 1995. Harold joined Fram Renewable Fuels in October 2005. His industry knowledge led to the development of Fram’s first wood pellet facility in Baxley, Georgia. Appling County Pellets was constructed and began producing in late 2007. As the industry continues to grow, Harold is enhancing Fram’s profile to further develop the wood pellet industry in the southeast US.

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.

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.

Stephen Chute
Stephean Chute, Managing Director, Phyto-Charter

Stephean Chute is managing director of Phyto-Charter, based in Eastport, Maine. His professional career spans commercial law practice, including admiralty, marine management and trade development. He developed the Shipboard Heat Treating System in conjunction with E J Carrier and the Eastport Port Authority and has worked jointly with the port authority to develop forest product exports. Stephean holds a degree in economics from the University of Maine obtained in 1986 and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk Law School-Boston. He became a member of the Maine State and Federal Bar in 1989.

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.

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.

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.

Francois Megret
Francois Megret, Business Development RenewablesTradition Green

Francois has worked in commodity markets since 2010. From a core industry in trading at ArcelorMittal via global strategy at Schneider Electric, Francois has worked within the environmental and energy markets with a specific focus on international biomass and renewables markets. Joining Tradition Green in 2015 to provide physical commodities origination and new sourcing opportunities for plants and placement for producers, he is also actively working to develop the financial business for wood pellets, to implement biomass hedging solutions for trading houses, producers and end-users, and developing new business flows for energy, pulp and paper markets alongside Lucy Mortimer and an international team based in London, Beijing and Santiago.

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.

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.
 Thomas Meth

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.

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. 

Timothy Ong
Timothy OngSenior Vice President-Strategic Impact Projects, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM)

Timothy Ong is senior vice-president of the Malaysian government’s national innovation agency, Aim, and heads national biomass strategy unit 1MBAS. He was the co-founder and a former president of Pellet Association Malaysia, where he still holds an advisory role. Through 1MBAS, Timothy works closely with industry, the government and academia to devise strategies and policies, and implement plans to ensure timely execution of national strategy initiatives under the NBS2020 programme. 1MBAS co-ordinates all cross-sector biomass utilisation plans and promotes business partnership models, to build a resilient and sustainable biomass industry for Malaysia. 1MBAS works closely with industry to facilitate the investigation of commercial biomass opportunities in Malaysia throughout the value chain, from large-scale upstream plantations, to downstream bioenergy, advanced biofuel and biochemicals projects. 

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.

Marc Pauchet
Marc Pauchet, Lead Dry Analyst, Research, Maersk Broker K/S

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.

Juan Prados
Juan Prados, Managing DirectorGenerandi

Juan is managing director of Spanish company Generandi, which is involved in the forestry value chain, from plantations to product trading in Europe. Generandi is active in the woodchip and pellet business and is the exclusive agent for Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation in Europe. He has a master’s in forest engineering from Madrid’s Polytechnic University, an MBA from ESADE, a master’s in enology and viticulture from the ISSC and was a researcher at the department of forestry at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US.

He is also silviculture and reforestation Ad Honorem Professor at Madrid Polytechnic University. Since 1998 he has held positions such as vice-president of the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), board member of the Spanish Confederation of Woodworking Industries (Confemadera), chairman of wood promotion project Living With Wood and board member of PEFC-Spain.

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.

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.

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.

Tiago Andrade, Director, Wood Pellet Services

Tiago Andrade is the founder of Wood Pellet Services (WPS), a brokerage, agency and consultancy firm with a large portfolio of wood pellet supply under management. Tiago’s early career in Portuguese multinationals gave him access to knowledge and contacts, particularly in the renewable sector. In 2004, he 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 of Portugal, in Porto.

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.

Søren Alsing, Head of Fuel, Bioenergy and Thermal Power, Ørsted

Andrew Belousov, Head of Sales and Marketing Department, Bionet

John Brick, Director, Premium Pellets

Michael Christensen, Chief Operating Officer, CM Biomass

  Carsten Huljus, Chief Executive Officer, SBP

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

  Morten Nielsen, Biomass Procurement Officer, Hofor

Christian Rakos, Chief Executive, proPellets Austria

   Tom Searle, Manager, Consulting Services, Argus

   Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, REA

   Filippo Valdata, Trader, Pellet MyFire

   Eric Vial, President, European Pellet Council

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

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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