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Propane Personality: James Rockall

October 13, 2020 By    
James Rockall headshot

Rockall

James Rockall
CEO and Managing Director, World LPG Association

Education

International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland)
Master of Business Administration
Class of 2000

University of Nottingham (England)
Master’s in Chemical Engineering
Class of 1990

Work Experience

2004-Present
World LPG Association (WLPGA)
⦁ CEO and Managing Director

2001-03
Alstom
⦁ Director of e-Procurement

1997-2000
Shell
⦁ Business Development Manager

1990-97
⦁ Process and Development Manager


In the midst of a pandemic, where do things stand for the LPG industry?

“The global picture for LPG is mixed. Generally, the domestic demand has held up well – in some countries such as India, even showing growth compared to 2019. This is good news since domestic represents [about] half of global demand. Other sectors such as autogas or commercial have seen a drop in demand, but this is followed by a rebound as countries have emerged from lockdown. During the crisis, LPG has been recognized the world over for continuing to provide clean energy to people’s homes in a safe and reliable way. As we emerge from the pandemic, LPG is very well-positioned not only as an affordable low-carbon fuel but also for its contribution to cleaner air.”


How can LPG help developing countries foster a healthy population?

“One of the biggest threats to developing world populations is indoor air pollution. For example, some 3 million people die prematurely every year from lack of access to clean cooking fuel. LPG can solve this – and WLPGA is working to do just that. With our Cooking for Life project, we aim to switch 1 billion people from cooking with traditional fuels to LPG by 2030. The good news is, since 2014, we are now over halfway there. We estimate if we achieve our goal, we could save a million lives per year, every year.”


E-LPG Week

WLPGA’s LPG Week brings together industry members through events, networking and business development opportunities. It will be hosted virtually as e-LPG Week Nov. 2-6. Attendees can register at lpgweek.com.

“People can expect valuable content from global experts that can’t be obtained elsewhere. Spread over five days, we will have lined up daily keynotes as well as high-level interactive strategy sessions, a technology conference, an LPG for Development side event and our annual autogas event. In addition, we will host a multitude of snapshots covering many different aspects of the business. The World LPG Forum exhibition will be hosted online with virtual booths and a level of interaction that rivals face-to-face meetings. With its artificial intelligence, the event platform will also facilitate networking among delegates – be prepared to be surprised.”


Does WLPGA look to work more closely with U.S. organizations like the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)?

“Yes, absolutely. The USA is the largest exporter of propane to the world and one of the leaders in terms of innovation and technology. We need to learn from the U.S., but the U.S. can also learn from the world. In terms of technology development, we see advances in many countries such as in Europe or Korea and India. In terms of policy development – something critical in many developed markets – Europe has a huge experience and often determines global energy policy, and this should be shared across the world. Both NPGA and PERC are on the WLPGA leadership council. WLPGA is also now part of the NPGA board, so the structures for improved cooperation are there.”


Accomplishments

“I took over [WLPGA] in 2004. Since I took over, the number of members has more than doubled. It’s been a really conscious effort to increase membership all across the world, and it takes effort to do that. At the same time, the revenue that we’ve generated – which is all returned to projects – has more than tripled in that same period. I’m very proud of the growth that the global association has had over the last 10 or 15 years now.”


Hobbies

“When not traveling to see my kids who are both at university outside France, I love sport of all kinds, but now I focus more on cycling and sailing.”

Photo courtesy of James Rockall

When Rockall is not working, he enjoys traveling and sailing. Photo courtesy of James Rockall

About the Author:

Carly McFadden is associate editor at LP Gas Magazine. She is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. McFadden can be reached at cmcfadden@northcoastmedia.net.

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