MEET THE PORTFOLIO DIRECTOR
Matt Maginnis, Portfolio Director, Americas, World Refining Association
Pubilshed 26 July 2023
Ahead of the 2023 edition of the Latin American Refining Technology Conference, taking place in Rio de Janeiro on 12 – 14 September, we caught up with the region's Portfolio Director, Matt Maginnis, to hear all about this year's agenda and what's new for 2023.
Matt, the 12th Annual Latin American Refining Technology Conference is nearly upon us! This year’s agenda has a few new additions, can you talk us through what we can expect at this year’s conference in Rio de Janeiro?
Yes – with the growth of LARTC in Buenos Aires in 2022, we have introduced a few new additions to the conference for 2023. Firstly, this year's agenda sees additional interactive roundtables, providing unmatched opportunities for refiners and technology providers alike to discuss and debate technological solutions to the key challenges refineries are facing.
Furthermore, I've included a refiners’ fireside chat, with the likes of YPF, Petrobras, Ecopetrol and more, participating in a lively discussion with audience Q&As and real-time polls on key industry topics. We also have a a record number of refiner-led technical presentations & co-presentations. Rio 2023 will be the biggest LARTC yet, so definitely not one to miss!
With increasing pressure on decarbonization and energy transition goals, what role do you think Latin American refining can play on the global stage?
My view as somewhat of an observer, is that Latin America should focus on creating its own energy transition pathway. Too often, the accepted consensus is that Europe has led the way in terms of transition, however questions are now to be asked on how sustainable the European pathway has been, as Europe is in the grips of an energy crisis, with record-high energy prices, unreliable renewable dependence and increased emissions as the likes of the UK and Germany are firing up coal plants.
Latin America can learn the lessons from other regions on decarbonisation, but the role that can be played globally is huge. Latin America remains a region that is a net exporter of crude oil and a net importer of refined products. Therefore, Latin America’s growth as an energy hub will be partly underpinned by improved refining capacity, greater energy efficiency and technological advances.
Can you give us some insight into how the World Refining Association helps build relationships between refiners and technology providers at conferences like LARTC?
It is very much our day-to-day. The team focus on building strong relationships with the region’s refineries and gaining an in-depth understanding of their corporate strategies and their technology needs.
This puts us in a very strong position to make targeted 1-2-1 introductions with well-suited service and technology providers at our conferences. Our clients are at the forefront of technology advances and it is a pleasure to be able to give them the platform to showcase their products and services to our refiner audience.
Finally, the LARTC Awards of Excellence is back for its second year after a successful launch in 2022, what can we expect from this year's ceremony?
The Awards of Excellence proved to be a big hit in 2022 with a sell out of tables and tickets. It was a brilliant night of celebration and a chance to highlight the successes of the companies and individuals who are trailblazing operational excellence, digital transformation, energy transition pathways and downstream leadership.
We received a lot of feedback surrounding the transparency of the judging process and the criteria in each category. So this year, expect to see a lot more information about our 3-stage voting process, our judging committee, and what the judges are assessing in each category.
We have received hundreds of nominations for 2023 and our judges will be working through these nominations in due course. As with last year, the Awards will be glamourous and a lot of fun, so please do reach out if you are interested in attending or taking a table.