Argus Methanol Forum

Houston, Texas, US
9-11 September 2024
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Agenda for 2024

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Welcome day and reception

17:00 - 18:00

Registration and welcome drinks reception

Conference day 1

08:00 - 09:00

Breakfast and registration

09:00 - 09:10

Chairperson’s introduction and opening remarks

Dave McCaskill

Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
09:10 - 09:50

Global market fundamentals on pricing expectations and volatility in oil and gas

• Energy price backdrop – how will gas & oil prices trend in the short & medium term? What are the market prospects?
• What logistical challenges have impacted methanol imports and exports amidst red sea disruptions?
• What is the likely trajectory for China’s recovery in the next few years and implications for key commodities?

09:50 - 10:40

Argus’ global methanol outlook and snapshot: what is the future of traditional methanol and how do we create new demand?

• What are the upcoming downstream derivatives new capacity outlook and trade flows? Evaluating the changing demand patterns in conventional downstream users (Olefins, MTBE, formaldehyde, acetic acid, biodiesel)
• What is the overall capacity versus demand growth for key derivatives? Where can we expect industry pricing to head over the next 5 years?
• What is the state of domestic methanol supply and demand in Europe? What is the status of methanol prices in Europe?

Dave McCaskill

Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service

Victoria Baghdjian

Head of European Methanol
10:40 - 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 - 12:15

Will we see more low carbon methanol in the chemical and plastics industry to produce low carbon products?

Clean methanol as a feedstock for bioplastics and sustainable chemicals

• How can chemical companies increase low carbon inputs going into their supply chain? What low carbon methanol products are likely to take off in the chemicals and plastics industry?
• With RED III and other global regulations, how will the landscape for low carbon methanol for chemical applications develop? Will we see competition between the chemical industry and other industries such as the aviation, marine and on-road transportation?
• Will there be an increase in regulatory requirements for the chemical industry to decarbonise in North America as we are starting to see mandates in Europe? How will this impact methanol derivative production?

Enric Montserrat

Director Intermediate Chemicals Division

Matthias Schwab

Head of New Business Development & Sustainability

Steven McGinn

Senior Reporter
12:15 - 13:00

Using methanol to build a low carbon future: developing the supply chain and mobilising methanol in new ways

Supply chain logistics, infrastructure & renewable power availability
• Optimising infrastructure - how can we ensure methanol is available to customers where they need it and when they need it? How can we distribute low carbon methanol efficiently across the globe?
• What regions are we seeing the most development for low carbon methanol projects? Are they feasible projects that will further progress?
• How will the methanol market evolve whilst moving away from a wholesale commodity product to low carbon methanol? How will it influence trade flows, distribution and pricing methodology?
• Where is renewable power available globally? What advantages and disadvantages do certain states in the US have when it comes to renewable development? Where can renewable power projects succeed in the US?

Gregory Dolan

Chief Executive
Methanol Institute
13:00 - 14:15

Networking lunch break

14:15 - 14:45

What are methanol buyers asking providers for when it comes to low carbon methanol and what are the options?

• The demand for sustainable procurement and sustainability transparency
• How to secure consistent and reliable sources of feedstock to maximise sustainable production?
• How are producers meeting the scope 3 emission reduction goals of customers? What feedstocks and technologies can allow methanol producers to scale up and at the same time bring down the cost to really be applicable to industrial processes?

14:45 - 15:30

CCUS spotlight – The application of carbon capture, a tool for methanol plants to reduce their CO2 emissions

• What feedstock products exist for lowering the carbon intensity of methanol? Does adding CCUS to existing methanol plants reduce the carbon intensity enough to the point where it is competing with green methanol from a cost and emission standpoint?
• Carbon capture on the feedstock and input side – how do we put capture equipment on sources of biogenic carbon in order to make sure we are capturing everything?
• How is carbon capture being integrated with the latest of methanol technologies? What are the issues and challenges associated with scaling up carbon capture?

15:45 - 16:20

Coffee break

16:20 - 16:50

Investor perspectives: financiers’ attitude towards financing the methanol world

• Investors want to support the energy transition, but they are still risk adverse. How do we get investors comfortable with scale up and perceived risks of renewable feedstocks to fuel conversion projects at large scale?
• Current views of the ESG bond markets and the relevance for financing low carbon methanol projects. How are other financial institutions and investors supporting the development of projects?
• Considering the cost to produce low carbon methanol, how could a low carbon methanol price premium be structured to encourage investment and innovation in the sector?

Josue Vazquez

Director Project Finance
Mizuho Bank

Zina Skoufa

Managing Director, Methanol
Johnson Matthey
16:50 - 17:20

What are the specific properties and certification that methanol needs to have to be awarded as a ‘green’ product?

• What does this mean for producers and consumers? Is there a transparent way of measuring the carbon intensity?
• Lifecycle carbon analysis – the ecosystem on what qualifies as bio and e-methanol?
• What are the challenges and opportunities when it comes to certification and how does it tie into regulation? What certification programmes are available and how is the whole value chain certified as well as the measure of the CO2 footprint?

Dario Formenti

System Manager Sustainable Fuels
International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC)
17:20 - 17:25

Chairperson's closing remarks

Gregory Dolan

Chief Executive
Methanol Institute
17:25 - 18:30

Networking drinks reception

Conference day 2

08:00 - 09:00

Registration and breakfast

09:00 - 09:05

Chairperson’s opening remarks

Larry Navin

VP External Affairs
Methanol Institute
09:05 - 09:45

An exploration of methanol technological innovations – upstream and downstream technology

(A series of product-related presentations from innovative companies sharing their technologies)

• Johnson Matthey technology focus
• Using captured and recycled CO2 as a primary feedstock for producing green and blue methanol
• Commercializing a modular, rapidly scalable technology to convert stranded gas into low-carbon methanol.

Speakers Include:

Zina Skoufa

Managing Director, Methanol
Johnson Matthey

Jeff Brimhall

Chief Sustainability Officer & Co-Founder

Louise Hannecart

Director of Business Development & Strategy
M2X Energy
09:45 - 10:35

Methanol as a marine fuel: matching global supply with global demand

• What is the progress of methanol fuelled vessels? Where are we on ship orders for methanol?
• What is the current timeline for the wider adoption of methanol as a marine fuel compared to other sources of clean energy such as ammonia, bio-LNG and hydrogen?
• Last mile logistics – terminal, infrastructure, and storage potential for bunkering clean methanol in North America?

Speakers Include:

Anita Gajadhar

Executive Director Marketing, Logistics and Shipping

Yasuhiro Sazuka

Mitsui O.S.K Lines (Americas)

Les Gingell

VP Marine Sales
MAN Diesel

Oleksiy Tatarenko

Senior Principal, Climate-Aligned Industries
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

Peter Keller

10:35 - 11:10

Coffee break

11:10 - 11:50

Is Methanol-to-Jet ready for take-off? – where are we on technology, pricing and availability?

• What are the different pathways to produce SAF and what is MTJ’s position?
• Demystifying the technology risk for the Methanol-to-jet process.
• Looking at the pricing of the Methanol-to-jet pathway vs other pathways. Is it economical?
• Will we see significant increases in methanol production in the next 5 years satisfying both the burgeoning interest in the shipping and aviation sector? Is there more money to be made in SAF sector compared to the shipping industry?

11:50 - 12:30

Global policies, incentives and regulations: what to look out for?

• How will they create opportunities for the market? What market parameters or policy variables will be major determinants of the market shares of grey, blue and green methanol in the next 5 years?
• How can the methanol industry help one another to generate grant funding for new technology or new ways of creating methanol derivatives?
• What challenges will conventional European methanol producers and consumers face as the region reduces their carbon footprint?
• Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its impact on the methanol business in North America and what this means for the production of green methanol product to export to Europe?

Larry Navin

VP External Affairs
Methanol Institute

Geoffrey Dietz

Director, Federal Government Affairs
Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas
12:30 - 13:15

The future of methanol in the Asia-Pacific and China: How will the market respond as competition heats up?

• Is there enough demand in Asia for the additional supplies that are coming up? What is the current status of MTO’s and their demand potential?
• To what extent are methanol-fuelled transportation fleets expected to grow in China? Is direct methanol blending into gasoline a promising new demand sector?
• What is the progress of the methanol fuelled vessels in Asia and who are the major participants in this area?


Becky Zhang

Editor, Olefins and Methanol
13:15 - 13:20

Chairperson's closing remarks

Larry Navin

VP External Affairs
Methanol Institute
13:20 - 14:00

End of conference & lunch