Biorefining Conference & Trade Show energizes Houston
The 2011 International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show officially started today in the heart of oil and gas country, but the atmosphere during the opening evening of the three-day event at the Hilton Americas Houston hotel was energized by the potential of the advanced biofuels and biobased chemical industries. Over 350 people attended the first night event, some looking for the best available EPC firm, some the newest product testing methods, and others like Michelle Boothe of the Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance, the right person and the right company that could bring bioenergy to her state. “We are looking to be competitive with other states,” Boothe said. “We want to offer more.”
Boothe came prepared to the event, bringing satellite images and informational sheets of 16 different sites. Sites she said could be utilized by bioenergy companies in search of future facility locations. “Louisiana,” she said, “has several sites available and we are looking for businesses that are looking to expand.” Boothe and her team weren’t at the conference just to attract biobased businesses however, they also came to learn. “We want to see what this industry has to offer so we can bring that knowledge back, and,” she said, “to broaden our knowledge of the biorefining industry.”
Robert Best, generated gases asset manager for Air Products, also made the trip to Houston to learn more about the industry. According to Best, Air Products sees the biorefining industry as a major area for future revenue, and recent partnerships with two of the industry’s most established firms has opened the eyes of Best and his team at Air Products to the needs of the biorefinery sector. As the main gas supplier for Kior Inc.’s facility in Mississippi and Ineos Bioenergy’s facility in Florida, Best said he came to Houston to speak with and learn of other companies with similar needs.
The first night event will be followed by several general session panels filled with some of the most prominent names within the industry, including Michael McAdams, president of the Advance Biofuels Association and Wes Bolsen, vice president of government affairs for Coskata Inc. In addition to general session panels, the conference will also include educational and informative breakout panels related to the industry covering four separate topics: pathways and industrial hosts, inputs and supply chains, products and markets, and, capital and strategic partners.
For more information on the conference, visit: http://www.biorefiningconference.com.
For industry reaction to the panel discussions, insider commentary from those in attendance and other information on the 2011 International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show, visit: www.biorefiningmagazine.com.