Getting technical in the Windy City

September 1, 2006 By    

The 19th Forum of the World LP Gas Association (WLPGA), which will run October 17-20 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago, will concentrate on highlighting the increasing economic role that propane will play over the coming years, thanks to more and more sophisticated and innovative technological developments.

Organized in partnership with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), this year’s Forum includes the regular exhibition with numerous companies from around the world, plus, for the first time ever, a Global Technology Conference. “Technology Driving Growth” is the theme chosen by the WLPGA for the Forum.

“From its earliest days, growth in the propane industry has been driven by technology,” says Roy Willis, president and CEO of PERC.

Since 1987, the WLPGA has organized an annual conference and exhibition with social events, called the World LP Gas Forum. It is designed to foster networking and business development. The Forum has taken place in all four corners of the world and is coming to the United States for just the third time in its history.

“I think, especially for our colleagues in the U.S., it’s the best occasion for them to learn more about global developments in the industry, without the expense of international travel,” says Rick Roldan, president and CEO, NPGA. “At the same time, it’s an ideal chance for us to showcase the American propane industry to the world, right here at home.”

Gerald Doucet, secretary-general of the World Energy Council (WEC), covering “The challenges facing the global energy industry in the 21st century”, will set the Forum’s overall tone with a keynote address. The Global Technology Conference will feature keynote speaker Jeanne Johns, BP North America NGL president.

During the Forum, sessions will be chaired by industry figures such as Loic Driebreek (CEO, SHV-Primagaz, the Netherlands), Jim Ferrell (chairman and CEO, Ferrellgas, USA), Omer Koç (president, Aygas, Turkey) and Sarthak Behuria (president, Indian Oil Corporation, India). Also, 30 speakers will present topics such as Global LP Gas Outlook, New Local Winning Strategies and Innovative Practices to Expand Developing Markets, and a round table on the World of LP Gas in 2030 will be chaired by Alan Beale (managing director, Elgas, Australia).

“Attendees will learn from over 60 speakers about global trends, best industry practices and innovative new technologies; experience equipment, products and services from about 50 leading international companies and organizations; and network with more than 700 conference attendees and 1,000 exhibition visitors from around the world,” says James Rockall, managing director, WLPGA.

The Global Technology Conference adds one extra day to the traditional Forum formula, thus responding to many former attendees’ requests. This extension to the Forum is set to share best practices and showcase new innovations and technologies that will support the future success of the LP Gas industry. Thirty-five technology experts from all over the world will give presentations, with a closer look at Distributed Power Generation (including Fuel Cell Development), the increasing role of IT in LP Gas Business, Agricultural uses of LP Gas, LP Gas Automotive technologies, and more.

“Today, our technological challenges are more demanding, our traditional markets more mature, emerging markets more competitive and keeping up with the latest developments has never been more important to success,” says Willis. “It makes good business sense to highlight the state of technological development in our industry, which is the goal of the Global Technology Conference.”

A 3-day exhibition will run concurrently with the Forum and Technology Conference. Also included is a welcome reception in the Empire Room of the Palmer House, a gala dinner in the Field Museum of Natural History and a WLPGA members’ dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Forum’s arrival in Chicago coincides with the greater awareness by the American propane industry of its place in the global marketplace. U.S. propane marketers today have a renewed sense of the global marketplace because the increased use of propane elsewhere in the world affects the American market more than ever before. New markets across the world are permanent signs of globalization of commerce that Americans must adapt to in the decades to come.

“This event is the single greatest opportunity to gather information, gain new business and exchange ideas with industry leaders from all over the world – without the expense of international travel,” says Randy Rutherford, chairman of the Forum’s National Organizing Committee and president of Rutherford Equipment Inc.

“This event promises to be one of the best that we have ever held,” adds WLPGA President Francis Jan.

Global Technology Conference at-a-glance

Thursday, October 19
The event will kick off with the 19th World LP Gas Forum business lunch, followed by the opening of the Global Technology Conference, featuring welcome and introductory remarks by Roy Willis, president and CEO of PERC and the keynote speech by Jean Johns, BP North America NGL business unit leader.

The General Technology Session will have seminars on Adding Value to the Industry by PERC; Demand Development in Japan by Norio Kodama, chairman, LP Gas Center of Japan; The Ferrellgas Solution – Renaissance, a Rebirth by Pat Walsh, Ferrellgas; and Global Forklift Technology – Creating New Market Opportunities by Brett Woods, Toyota. The seminars will be followed by a question and answer session.

The day wraps up with the closing of general sessions by WLPGA President Francis Jan, followed by a welcome to the 20th World LP Gas Forum in Cape Town, South Africa in 2007 by Lindiwe Benedicta Hendricks, MP, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Republic of South Africa.

Friday, October 20
The day begins with introductory and Welcome Remarks by James Rockall, Managing Director, WLPGA, followed by
several seminars and sessions.

Session 1A – Distributed Power Generation

  • Overview of global fuel cell markets and technology relating to LPG (B. Washom, Spencer Mgt. Associates)
  • Peak shaving with SNG: A hedge against power interruptions (G. Eaton, Ely Energy and J. Steier, Central European LPG Terminal SA)
  • New LP Gas technology solutions in the UK telecommunications market (M. Cocking, Marathon)
  • Development of LP Gas Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC) system (S. Ueda, LP Gas Center of Japan)
  • Small-size gas engine Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system – CP Series (F. Asano, Yanmar)
  • LPG fueled solid oxide fuel cells (R. Forster, Acumentrics)

Session 1B – LP Gas Operations

  • Alternative tank materials for underground storage (R. Osborne, Battelle)
  • New composite cylinders: Clear benefits but are they safe? (J. Bergland, Composite Scandinavia)
  • Toward continuous safe operation through fusion of the latest equipment and systems: Distribution innovation using the largest equipment in Japan and a newly developed system (Takashi Ando, Mikawawan Gas Terminal)
  • Acoustic emission in the context of in-service inspection of LPG storage equipment (J. Trespaille, Totalgaz)
  • Development of a reliable check float to prevent overflow in coil type vaporizer (S. Choi, Korea Gas Safety Corp)
  • Authorized-filling technology to prevent theft (O. Arbel, Argil Flow Tech)

Session 2A – Distributed Power Generation (II)

  • Propane fuel cell and energy storage demonstration by the Delaware County Electric Cooperative (M. Schneider, Delaware Co. Electric Cooperative)
  • Optimizing the use of LPG hybrid renewable power systems with NREL’s HOMER Model (P. Lilenthal, NREL)
  • Propane-fueled DG/CHP performance at Kauai Marriott (GTI)
  • Portable 1 kW SOFC LPG generator-cooker-grill for off-grid applications (U. Bossel, Fuelcellco AG)

Session 2B – LP Gas Operations (II)

  • Applying the latest technologies and business methods to improve delivery operations at LP Gas Marketers (J. Vollen, The Fuel Web)
  • Coriolis mass flow metering for the LPG industry (C. Strawn, Actaris)
  • Industrial automation in Turkey (S. Soytok, AYGAZ)
  • Best practices for successful radar level gauging of LPG tanks (U. Johannesson, Saab Rosemont)

Session 3A – Residential and Commercial Uses of LP Gas

  • New evolving gas heat pump and micro-cogeneration technology (Kazuo Yamagishi, GHP Consortium of Japan)
  • Channel management challenges and practices in the bottled LPG market in Brazil (CIA. Ultragaz S/A)
  • Development of integrated space and water heating system for manufactured housing (DeLima)
  • LPG residential desiccant dehumidifier (S.Jeager, AFRED)
  • Development of the ENEOS Eco LP-1 home fuel cell system (M Akiyama, Nippon Oil)

Session 3B – Agricultural Uses of LP Gas

  • Treatment of wine leaves with LPG (Primagaz France/Daniel Bouvier)
  • Poultry house sanitizer (M. Limon, Flame Engineering)
  • Construction heat to pest management: The evolution of new technologies for propane (B. Lindsay, TEMP-AIR)
  • Cotton harvest preparation using thermal energy (USDA)
  • Thermal weed control technology: Analysis on the stinger’s efficacy, usability and cost (K. Smith, D.J. Batchen Pty.)

Session 4A – Fuel Quality and Odorization

  • Ultralow sulfur odorants and the Vigileak Z (P. Charles, Arkema)
  • R&D on sulfur-free odorants (Toshio Tanabe, The High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan, KHK)
  • Good practices for the care and custody of propane in the supply chain (Tidball, Environmental Analysis)
  • R&D on DME as an alternative fuel in Japan (LP Gas Center of Japan, KHK)
  • Process to remove heavy-end contaminants (N. Sambrano, ADEPT)

Session 4B – Engine Fuels/Autogas

  • Development of a heavy-duty LPG engine that meets U.S. 2010 emissions standards (J. Cole, SwRI)
  • Propane (LPG) in the automotive application: An available and economical solution to improve the environmental impact of vehicles (R. Mercer, IMPCO)
  • Diesel substitution with LPG: Reduce costs and reduce emissions (K. Sansome, Elgas)
  • LPG forklift’s ability to meet tough 2007 emission standards (M.Ross, SwRI)
  • Commercial lawn mowing opens new summertime sales (TBD)

All sessions will be followed by question and answer segments.

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