Energy & Sustainability Forum
Decarbonising the Downstream IndustryI'm Interested in ESF Europe 2024
Highlights from Amsterdam
A huge thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors, and attendees who attended ESF Europe 2023 from the 20th – 22nd of February in Amsterdam. We were delighted to see so many familiar, and new faces join us and contribute to its success.
We’re excited to start the planning for ESF Europe 2024 which will take place in Madrid next March and look forward to releasing more details soon. If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch.
Look out for the full post-event report coming soon.
66 Speakers &
16 Hours of Content
10+ Hours Of
356 Registered Delegates
Welcome to the 3rd Annual ESF Europe 2023 – Energy & Sustainability Forum
As the race for Europe’s 2050 climate neutrality accelerates, the role that the oil and gas downstream industry plays in ensuring these goals are met efficiently and affordably advances.
Europe is currently facing a dual challenge; to deliver energy security alongside delivering the energy transition, all the while coping with rising costs as a result of the energy crisis. Europe has the opportunity to re-industrialise, achieve security of supply, and sustainable supply as it adapts and embraces the solutions and routes to decarbonise whilst becoming energy independent.
The downstream industry is changing, with boundaries between upstream, midstream, downstream and power becoming blurred. Whether it’s reduce, recycle or remove, success will be defined by clear, significant, and concrete targets.
There is no silver bullet, Europe’s refining and chemicals industries must consider all of the solutions that are needed, and come together to find and leverage the synergies and partnerships to be at the forefront of delivering this transition.
Against this backdrop, industry leaders will convene in Amsterdam from the 20th - 22nd February 2023, to accelerate the energy transition through the collaborations, discussions, and development of a sustainable energy future in which Europe’s oil and gas downstream industry continues to play a leading role.
Our series of ESF conferences represent the best opportunity for the downstream oil & gas industry to network and knowledge share in the context of decarbonisation and sustainability.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Pre-Conference Seminars
Monday 20th February 2023
Securing the Supply of Sustainable Energy:
Balancing the Challenges and
Investing in the Opportunities
Enabling Future Forward Technologies with Continuous Innovations, Strategic Partnerships & Policy Impacts
Advisory Meeting Takeaways Report
Meeting held on the 20th September 2022Download Now
- Energy Security, Supply & Sustainability - The trilemma of energy needing to be secure, affordable, and low carbon needs to be managed in unison, despite the volatility in prices, policy and supply. There is a threat that the industry is losing sight of the bigger decarbonisation picture whilst it works to resolve the short-term challenges
- Hydrogen – Enabler or Hinderance? - Are Europe’s producers even looking at the right solutions? Hydrogen alone cannot solve the problems. Green hydrogen value chains are extremely inefficient; taking renewables, converting to green hydrogen, converting that to ammonia, transporting it to the source of demand, and then converting it back to hydrogen for end use.
- Diversifying Primary Energy Sources - The downstream industry is changing, with boundaries between upstream, midstream, downstream and power becoming blurred. But how will producers get the right feedstock for their products with the overall lowest carbon footprint within the whole value chain?
- Critical Capabilities to Succeed - Europe’s refiners and producers must consider all of the solutions that are needed. First, a less carbon intensive energy mix is required. Second, reducing emissions and third, offsetting residual emissions is crucial.
Highlights from ESF Europe 2022
ESF Europe 2022 took place on 21-23 March at the Berlin Marriott Hotel gathering oil and gas downstream leaders to drive forward the decarbonisation of the downstream industry. Across three days of interactive panels and seminars, insightful presentations and a variety of networking formats, attendees shared with optimism, case studies, perspectives and the technologies of how Europe’s refining and petrochemical sectors are reinventing themselves through the creation of low carbon operating models and high-performing ecosystems.
Exclusive first-hand insights, reports and interviews at the pulse of the global oil and gas downstream industry
Empowering Plastic Waste: Perspectives from Benny Mermans, Chevron Phillips Chemical
Ahead of ESF Europe 2023, Benny Mermans, Vice President Sustainability at Chevron Phillips ...Read Article
A Low Carbon Perspective with Tim Shire, Energy & CO2 Manager, Essar Oil UK
We caught up with Tim Shire, Essar Oil UK, to find out how refineries can stay competitive and ...Read Article
Quick Fire Questions with Lars Peter Lindfors, SVP Innovation, Neste
Ahead of ESF Europe 2023, Lars Peter Lindfors, SVP Innovation, Neste gave us some quick-fire ...Read Article
A Low Carbon Perspective with
Tim Shire, Energy & CO2
Manager, Essar Oil UK
Ahead of ESF Europe 2023, we caught up with Tim Shire, Energy & CO2 Manager at Essar Oil UK to find out how refineries can stay competitive and relevant in today's changing environment and discover Essar's strategy to become the first low-carbon oil refinery in the UK.
1. Essar Oil UK has the objective of becoming a leading low-carbon refinery by 2030. What are the key pillars for Essar to achieve its decarbonisation targets?
There is no one silver bullet to fully decarbonise our production processes, so we are building on a mixture of energy efficiency, fuel switching to hydrogen and carbon capture to significantly reduce the emissions from our operation. We are also becoming a hub for biofuels and waste-derived products which, when blended, will help decarbonise our products.
2. How can refineries stay relevant in today’s environment and prolong plant life through blue hydrogen and CCUS?
Low-carbon hydrogen is particularly interesting because, as well as decarbonising our own operations, we can supply it to other industrial users as a valuable low-carbon product for others. This will help them lower the emissions from their industrial processes. We see a future role for refineries as providers of fuels produced using low-carbon processes, being providers of heat and power to local industrial areas by being facilities that produce and balance hydrogen, power and heat supply for the clusters they serve.
3. Essar Oil UK recently announced its plan to build a £360 million new carbon capture plant at its Stanlow Refinery, could you tell us more about this project and how it will place Stanlow at the centre of the UK’s energy transition?
This project decarbonises our catalytic cracker which is one of the largest in Europe. This will reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by close to 1 million tonnes per annum. We’re excited to make such a large impact in a single project, and are working hard to unlock the maximum synergy of having hydrogen production and low carbon power generation on a single site.
4. During this turbulent time for the industry, what low-hanging fruits can be taken advantage of to ensure the industry remains competitive?
As ever, energy efficiency saves both money and emissions, and there are always opportunities to improve. In this time of volatile product prices, agile refineries are able to prosper. At Essar Oil UK we have managed to eliminate natural gas consumption during normal operation, and take advantage of our flexibility to divert lower cost molecules into fuel.
5. Finally, what do you hope the discussion from a conference like ESF Europe will help the industry to achieve over the next 12 months?
As the industry starts to convert visions into reality, we are starting to address numerous practical issues and find additional opportunities. As the industry is on this journey together, I’m looking forward to learning more about how others have taken steps forward and what they are doing to make this happen.
Quick Fire Questions with
Lars Peter Lindfors, SVP
Ahead of ESF Europe 2023, Lars Peter Lindfors, SVP Innovation, Neste gave us some quick-fire answers on how Neste has become a front-runner and key contributor to the European energy transition.
1. Neste has set ambitious targets for carbon-neutral production by 2035. What are the key pillars to achieve this?
Neste has a commitment to reducing the direct climate impact of our own activities. A key way to do this is through the utilisation of carbon-neutral hydrogen in production. We have been granted funding from the EU Innovation Fund to develop the Porvoo Refinery through green hydrogen production. We are also focussing our activities on replacing crude oil with renewable and circular feedstocks and have recently announced that we will be transitioning the Porvoo Refinery to a renewable and circular site, targeting a financially based phase out of crude oil refining in the mid-2030s.
2. Neste’s Rotterdam refinery has seen vast investment of EUR 1.9 billion in its renewable product capacity. How important is the Rotterdam refinery in Neste's transformation journey?
We are the only company with a global footprint in renewable fuels. Our Rotterdam Refinery is one of our world-scale refineries for renewable products. We are currently aiming for further significant investments into the Rotterdam facility, by doubling the capacity in 2026.
3. Today there are around 39,000 planes and 1.42 billion cars in the world. How can Neste’s products for renewable road transport and sustainable aviation help to decarbonise the hard-to-abate transport sector?
We are a global leader in providing renewable solutions for road transportation, aviation and chemicals. We are broadening our portfolio of scalable, sustainable raw materials and technologies in order to scale up our offerings significantly in the future. In order to combat climate change all solutions are needed. At present the only alternative to kerosene in aviation is renewable aviation fuel (SAF) and related to road transportation through diesel, renewable diesel and EV are the only alternatives available.
4. Finally, what do you hope the discussion from a conference like ESF Europe will help the industry to achieve over the next 12 months?
A good common understanding of the challenges the industry is facing, and how these topics should be tackled, to ensure the competitiveness of the European industry in these global markets.
Empowering Plastic Waste:
Perspectives from Benny
Mermans, Chevron Phillips Chemical
Ahead of ESF Europe 2023, Benny Mermans, Vice President Sustainability at Chevron Phillips Chemical, CPChem, Chairman of the World Plastics Council (WPC) and Vice President of the Plastics Europe Steering Board gave us some quick-fire answers on how the plastics industry and CPChem are helping to accelerate change for a sustainable future.
1. In Europe, it is estimated that 38% of plastic waste is recycled. What can the industry do to increase this percentage and therefore increase circularity within the plastics economy?
Waste plastics do not belong in the environment, they are a very valuable resource that should be captured. Over the recent years, a positive trend towards higher circularity emerged. According to the recently published “The Circular Economy for Plastics” report by Plastics Europe, the quantity of recycled plastics used in packaging increased by 45% compared to 2018. Still today 65% of plastic waste is not yet valorised in a circular economy. Collaboration from all stakeholders involved in the plastics industry will be crucial to improve this number, at every step of the value chain: from design for recycling to collecting and sorting infrastructure, from guiding policies to consumer engagement.
2. Chevron Phillips Chemical announced in 2022 its investment into the Infinity Recycling’s Circular Plastics Fund, how important are investments like these for CPChem’s commitment to sustainability?
Infinity Recycling’s Circular Plastics Fund aims to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular plastic economy by investing in advanced recycling technologies. At CPChem, we believe that advanced recycling technologies, that are complementary to mechanical recycling, are expected to play a key role in the development of a sustainable, circular economy for plastics. We recently announced commercial sales of Marlex® Anew™ circular polyethylene resin made from pyrolysis oils, a feedstock made from hard-to-recycle plastics.
3. What do you envision the plastics industry will look like by 2030?
The industry has a vision to create a fully circular economy for plastics, where used plastic is recycled, reused, or repurposed. According to the SystemIQ Reshaping Plastics Report, circularity levers are the fastest, most affordable, most effective and most reliable method of reducing GHG and waste disposal in the system, and the plastics system could achieve 78% circularity by 2050 through recycling, reduction and substitution. The next few years are a critical window for action, the decisions taken in the early 2020s will determine the future of our industry. As an industry we are committed to producing life-enriching products sustainably, leaving behind the lightest possible footprint.
4. Finally, what do you hope the discussion from a conference like ESF Europe will help the industry to achieve over - the next 12 months?
As mentioned above, collaboration from all stakeholders involved in the value chain is critical to help create a circular economy for plastics. I hope that ESF Europe enables discussions to support that much-needed collaboration and allows the plastics industry to demonstrate it has clear goals and wants to maintain a leading role in the future of Europe.
ESF Interview Series
Amazing event, good occasion to share ideas with fellow parties all along the O&G downstream value chain and really making the Energy Transition we are all committed to happen!
Business Analyst, MET DEVELOPMENT SPA
A great event, meetings with many interesting people, establishing new contacts, expanding knowledge of what is happening in the context of decarbonization and achieving zero emissions by 2050.
Process Optimisation Manager, PKN ORLEN
It was a very useful conference in terms of technologies and networking. This was the first time I attended the ESF event but won't be the last.
Digital Transformation Group Manager, SOCAR TURKIYE
We have really enjoyed the event. It was great to be at a physical event again especially as it was very well organized. The topics were all relevant to our industry and it was great to see so many participants engaged during the various panel sessions. We also appreciated the one-to-one meetings during the event.
President & CEO, ARAMCO OVERSEAS
Well organised in person event that is critical to understanding how the European Downstream sector is responding to the challenges of sustainability and the energy transition.
VP Refining, Chemicals & Oil Markets, Commodities Research, WOODMAC
Our collective view was that it was a great event that was well organised and executed by your team. We really appreciated the efforts of the team to make sure that the 1-1 meetings went ahead to schedule. As a result, we made some new connections and started some hopefully valuable discussions. Must admit it was good to be back in a face-to-face environment!
Vice President of Sales, KBC
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