The 31st World LPG Forum wrapped up in Houston.

Following on from last week’s round up of the 31st World LPG Forum, the World LPG Association provides a more detailed account of the event and a summary of this year’s highlights.

The 31st World LPG Forum took place from October 2-4, 2018 at the Hilton Americas in Houston, United States. The world’s largest global annual LPG event offered besides a high-quality conference and side events, unparalleled networking opportunities and of course a major global exhibition. Under the theme ‘Tomorrow’s Energy Today’, the World LPG Forum debated the key role that LPG has in shaping the future energy transition. This is an issue that resonates across the globe in whatever market you operate and the discussion around this will continue over the coming years.

Key Facts and Figures:

Around 1400 participants from 76 countries

Top five countries represented:

  1. USA
  2. India
  3. Mexico
  4. Nigeria
  5. Japan

The Exhibition showed 88 exhibiting companies

Keynotes by the Comptroller of Texas

The event organisers were honored to welcome Mr Glenn Hegar, Comptroller of Texas who launched this exceptional edition of the World LPG Forum in Houston.

‘Tomorrow’s Energy Today’ Forum highlights

There were many highlights of the two and a half day sessions in Houston, but most notably the roundtable ‘Tomorrow’s Energy Today’ which reflected the overall theme of the event. The panel featured discussions on the future role of LPG in the energy mix and, in particular, how LPG can contribute to the low carbon energy transition.  The panel, which featured senior representatives from the US and Europe noted that the industry faces major opportunities but also challenges and threats, including the “electrification of everything everywhere”. The panel concluded with an upbeat outlook for the US market with an ambition to grow LPG consumption by 4 billion gallons (11 million tonnes) over the next 5 years.

A Wide Range of Sessions

Other sessions on the Wednesday covered ‘Prospects for Propane’ where chair Amber Fennell opened this first session which focused on the positive outlook for the LPG industry. All forecasts suggest a supply surplus over the next decade. North America continues to play a key role in meeting the world’s demand. So, what can go wrong? Where are the hidden challenges for the industry? The second session ‘Communications: Evolution or Revolution?’ indicated that Communications – whether it is classic, disruptive, guerrilla – remains at the heart of any industry and paves the way to extend influence and grow business. Lillian Christensen, the chair of the session, stressed the importance of the propane industry to push harder to get ahead of the curve, and that the industry needs to take more inventive and adventurous initiatives. Session 3 ‘A Time of Transition in the Americas’ featured a number of engaging presentations focusing on growth potential in different markets and sectors in the Americas. From big production surges in North America, to policy reform in Mexico and further deregulation in Brazil and beyond. The ‘Secrets of Success’ session had exclusive insight and analysis into some of the world’s most exciting and Exceptional Energy projects, showcasing innovation in a variety of diverse markets and applications. This session uncovered the secrets behind the best practice stories that will drive the future of our industry.

Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG)

WINLPG marked a number of important achievements in Houston, including the inaugural Woman of the Year Award. The winner was announced as Ms Lesieli Taviri, General Manager, Origin LPG, Papua New Guinea. The runner-up is Jessica Alderman, Director of Communications, Envirofit International, USA.

The award process drew considerable interest in the global WINLPG community and WINLPG thanks every single individual who took part in the award process as there were some inspirational women who were nominated. The voting brought the original 40 candidates down to a short-list of five exceptional candidates who were then voted, anonymously, by a panel of senior members of the LPG industry.

An honourable mention also goes to the other three finalists Ayse Bilgin, Aygaz, Turkey; Mary Coughlin, SHV Energy/Calor, Ireland; and Agnieska Stochmal, Amerigas Polska, Poland.

WINLPG also held an exceptionally well attended Knowledge Exchange which welcomed members from over 14 countries and included a compelling presentation by Ms Geetika Verma of Indian Oil Corporation and WINLPG India Manager and Ms Paige O’Dell, WINLPG Global Chair, who also welcomed the US network, Women in Propane, as an official national chapter of WINLPG.

The Global Technology Conference

Among other highlights was the Global Technology Conference 2018 which took place on Tuesday afternoon and where cutting-edge innovation was showcased. It was standing room only at GTC 2018 in Houston where over 200 delegates heard about some of the latest technology that’s being applied in the LPG industry. A total of 11 papers were presented at GTC2018. PaygoEnergy won the WLPGA 2018 Innovation award with their presentation of a digitally controlled smart valve fitted to domestic LPG cylinders which lowers the entry barrier for low income households and deters illegal fillers. The paper was selected from the 11 papers by the GTC steering committee and on-line audience polling tool. WLPGA CEO, James Rockall, presented the innovation award to Fausto Marcigot who represented PaygoEnergy.

The World LPG Association

As for the World LPG Association highlights, this year saw several changes at the Board including the election of the CEO of BW LPG, Singapore, Mr Martin Ackermann, the CEO of SHV Energy, The Netherlands, Mr Bram Gräber, the CEO of Aygaz, Turkey, Mr Gökan Tezel and the CEO of the Japan LP Gas Association, Mr Sakae Yoshida. WLPGA also released a new report at the Forum entitled “The role of LPG in shaping the energy transition”. This report supported the theme of the Forum “Tomorrow’s Energy Today” and focused on the benefit of LPG and BioLPG in the future, post-2030 energy mix, compared to alternative fuels and electricity.

As the event drew to a close, we saw the closing ceremony of what has been an exceptional event and a warm welcome to the 32nd World LPG Forum and European Congress in Amsterdam to be held in September 2019 (https://www.worldlpgforum-aegpl2019.com).  

The organisers warmly thank all sponsors who contributed to this exceptional event.