Posted on October 12, 2014

A distinguished line-up of some of the world’s foremost experts on methanol are expected to talk in detail about the current state of the methanol industry as well as future trends that can further enhance its production, trade and consumption. These discussions are to be conducted during the first-ever Middle East Methanol Forum (MEMF) scheduled for 26 November 2014 at the Sharq Village in Doha, Qatar. Topics during the forum will focus around its main theme of ‘Miracle Energy on Hand’.

Organised by Qatar Fuel Additives Company Limited (QAFAC), the leading producer of Methanol and MTBE in Qatar, and with the main sponsorship of Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat), a company that aims to become a one-stop shop for all chemicals, polymers and fertiliser exports from Qatar including the Methanol and MTBE being produced by QAFAC,  the Forum is to be held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of the State of Qatar and in the presence of Mr. Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, Chairman, Qatar Fuel Additives Company Limited (QAFAC). With strong support from the Methanol Institute, the global trade association for the methanol industry, the region’s first-ever platform for discussion about methanol will include an overview of the methanol industry and markets in Qatar and globally through the various presentations to be conducted.

“By organizing of this forum in the presence of distinguished industry experts, QAFAC aims to highlight the regional and global role of Methanol in the energy industry, and transportation sectors,” said Mr Nasser Jeham Al-Kuwari, Chief Executive Officer of QAFAC. “Also, because of the other applications of methanol that involve its widespread use in the manufacturing process of thousands of products that touch our daily lives, we invited the world’s foremost experts and speakers to discuss very relevant and important topics related to the industry.” “Thus, along with our heartfelt gratitude for the strong support and active participation of the Methanol Institute and the confirmation of a distinguished panel of speakers from around the world, we are confident that this first-ever Forum on methanol in the region will be productive and beneficial to all participants, the industry, as well as end-users,” he added.

A panel discussion on ‘Making the Case for Oxygenates in the GCC’ will also be conducted in which public policy, regulatory initiatives, research projects, and developing applications for methanol and downstream fuel blending (e.g., DME, MTBE, bio-methanol) in the GCC markets will be discussed. This will be moderated by Mr. Ben Iosefa, Vice Chairman, Methanol Institute Board of Directors and Vice President, Global Market Development & Stakeholder Relations, Methanex Corporation, Canada.  Panelists also include Ms. Tammy Klein, Senior Vice President, Downstream Research,  Hart Energy of the U.S.A. and Mr Awadh Hassan Al-Shanfari, Chief Executive Officer, Salalah Methanol Company LLC, Oman.

Nasser Jaham Al Kuwari, QAFAC [].jpgTogether with several Question and Answer segments for participants to actively engage and interact with resource speakers, there will also be an in-depth analysis of the methanol market in China, including demand side, expected future growth areas (e.g., MTO, shale gas, etc.) and implications for Middle East producers, distributors and traders, to be conducted by Mr. Khai Zhao, Deputy Director, Academic Board Office of the Center for Global New Energy Strategy Studies (CGNESS) and China Association of Alcohol & Ether Clean Fuel and Automobiles (CAAEFA), China through his presentation on  ‘Market Perspectives: The China Question’.

In addition, Mr. Abdulrahman Ali Al-Abdulla, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat) will address the conference in a session on ‘Global Ambitions: The Vision to Expand Qatar’s Chemical and Petrochemical Industry Worldwide’. Mr. Al-Abdulla will talk about the creation of Muntajat and how important this milestone is in the growth of Qatar’s chemical and petrochemical industry in what is dubbed as the chemicals and petrochemicals decade in Qatar. As far as the fast-growing application of methanol in energy is concerned, a presentation on the topic ‘Looking to the Future: Methanol Fuel Cells’ will be conducted by Mr. Jim Bouttcher, Chairman Oorja Fuel Cells, U.S.A. which will have an in-depth analysis of the methanol industry in the Middle East, including expected future growth areas.

Also, Mr. Ben Iosefa will address environmental control areas (ECAs) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) restrictions worldwide, particularly with regard to the greater limits placed on marine shipping emissions of  NOx and SOX, as he focuses his presentation on the topic of ‘Steering a Shipping Revolution: Methanol as Marine Fuel’. With shipbuilders looking to use methanol as an environment-friendly, cost-effective solution for traditional diesel-powered vessels, Mr. Iosefa will share background information and present case studies on this important and emerging use of methanol.