A varied speaker program covered developments from a wide cross section of the industry – from commercial through to technical, operations and project updates, while a trade exhibition enabled delegates to see the latest equipment, services and technology on offer.
MWM, the Event Partner, welcomed attendees to the event, with Sales Manager Simon Helps speaking about the importance of the industry and the benefits that could be gained from browsing through the exhibition and listening to the detailed speakers program.
Industry talks gas
The two-day speaker program began with an opening address from industry stalwart Ollie Clark AM, who spoke about the importance of working in co-operation to bring together the gas industry.
Mr Clark spoke about how companies involved in different areas of the industry – including production, distribution and resale – should come together to promote natural gas as a fuel source. Restructuring of the gas industry has meant that companies are either electricity distributors or retailers, and Mr Clark says that more emphasis is needed from these companies on the benefits of gas-fired electricity compared to other forms.
“There is change in the air as an era approaches in which the low thermal efficiencies and high carbon hydrogen ratios of coal are widely understood, and an emissions trading scheme is imminent, and the low capital cost, flexibility and advanced technology of gas-fired combined-cycle and cogeneration power generation options are better appreciated,”? Mr Clark said.
“Little doubt the next generation of power stations will be high efficiency, flexible, widely distributed and gas fuelled.”?
Other speakers addressed upcoming projects, challenges and lessons learnt from previous projects, technical developments that can improve industry efficiency, as well as legal and financial considerations.
In his keynote address, Arrow Energy Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Scott, outlined the company’s plans to develop its CSG fields and progress a CSG to LNG export facility at Gladstone.
Other highlights included a presentation by the Executive Director of LNG Projects, Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Mal Hellmuth, who outlined the potential for coal seam gas (CSG) to LNG projects within Queensland.
In addition, EnergyQuest Chief Executive Officer Graeme Bethune and Jemena General Manger of Gas John van Weel provided interesting presentations. Mr Bethune spoke about the domestic and international future of Australian gas, while Mr van Weel spoke about how Jemena can service the gas industry.
A panel discussion, comprising Pitt&Sherry Principal Consultant Dominique La Fontaine, Parsons Brinckerhoff Climate Change Executive Arek Sinanian and Mellesons Stephen Jaques Special Counsel Matthew Austin, outlined the issues concerning an emissions trading scheme for the gas industry. The discussion sparked much interest, with attendees asking many questions.
Speaker sessions were well attended and delegates enjoyed learning about different aspects of the industry in more detail.
Thanks to the session chairs, who did a great job in making sure that everything ran smoothly and on time.
The trade exhibition hosted many stands, showcasing a variety of companies and products that service the industry. The 21 stands were a great turnout for the first conference and augers well for exhibitions to come.
The exhibition was constantly busy with people milling around the stands, inspecting new products and making connections with new and experienced people from the industry.
Morning, lunch and afternoon tea were served in the exhibition room, enabling an informal setting where exhibitors and delegates could discuss the industry. A special thank you to MWM, Mediqs Away and Nacap for sponsoring the lunch, morning and afternoon teas.
The social side
The trade exhibition kicked off with Opening Cocktails on the Sunday night. Sponsored by Chart Energy & Chemicals, the cocktails allowed delegates and exhibitors to catch up with old industry friends and make new contacts before the business sessions commenced on.
On Monday night, the Gala Dinner brought together delegates in a relaxed setting. Attendees enjoyed a three course meal while chatting about the information received at the exhibition and presentations during the day.
Following dinner, Paralympic Champion Brendan Burkett addressed the crowd, providing an entertaining and inspiring speech for all. Mr Burkett spoke about dealing with losing his leg in a hit-and-run accident and stirred dinner guests with his motivation not to let this hold him back from working with the best, including passing the medical and working in the North Sea on an offshore petroleum rig, and competing against the best on the world stage at numerous Paralympic Games.
Mr Burkett spoke about this experience as a Paralympic Champion, World Champion, World Record holder, Commonwealth Games and Australian multiple medallist. A highlight of his sporting career, said Mr Burkett, was representing Australia and carrying the nation’s flag into the Sydney 2000 Games.
All set for next year
The 2009 FutureGAS Conference proved thoroughly enjoyable, with delegates looking forward to next year. A big thank you to the Conference sponsors – MWM, Chart Energy & Chemicals, Tremco Pipeline Equipment, Nacap, Nationwide Hire, GHD and Mediqs Away.
The Conference’s success has set a high standard for 2010, which is planned to be even bigger and better.
The inaugural FutureGAS 2009 Conference & Exhibition offered a great forum for different areas of the gas industry to learn about the latest gas technology and developments.