2002 Review-Events

In emerging science, industry and public policy, each of which encompass the ethanol industry equally, it is vital to continually share ideas, identify challenges, set goals and plan for the future. EPM provides coverage of every major ethanol conference and meeting in the U.S. - with expanded coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Workshop and the National Ethanol Conference - and a growing number of ethanol meetings in other nations. Here's a look back at the premiere industry events of 2002.
By | December 01, 2002
2002 National Ethanol Conference:

Policy & Marketing
Ethanol industry leaders called the 2002 National Ethanol Conference: Policy & Marketing one of the most prolific and meaningful industry summits in the last two decades. The ethanol industry's 7th annual national gathering drew more than 620 producers, marketers and policy makers to San Diego, Calif., last February, and EPM was there to cover it.

"On the precipice of what both ethanol and oil industry analysts are calling an historic agreement to enact a renewable fuels standard (RFS), Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen and American Petroleum President Red Cavaney announced a "new era of cooperation in San Diego with a display of mutual respect and shared interest," EPM reported in March.

"The political stars are aligned, the strategic alliances are in place," said Dinneen in his state of the industry address at the conference. "I give Red Cavaney and the API great credit for recognizing the value of an RFS. . . Our objectives are no longer mutually exclusive."

In his closing remarks, Dinneen thanked all who contributed to the success of the National Ethanol Conference, including the event sponsors: Fagen, Inc., Bio-Renewable Group, Ethanol Producer Magazine, Broin Companies, Victory Energy, and AMETHEX - American Ethanol Exchange.

See promotional items in this issue of EPM to find out how to register for the 2003 National Ethanol Conference: Policy & Marketing in Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 17-19.

2002 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show"Based on attendance, the FEW is now widely considered the world's largest ethanol industry event. From its modest beginnings as a small workshop 18 years ago, with 40 attendees and no exhibitors, the event has become an internationally acclaimed conference, drawing delegates from around the world to the Midwest each year," EPM reported in July in our annual FEW Review.

Weeks before the 2002 FEW began, it was predicted to be the largest ethanol industry event in U.S. history. Attendance was officially pegged at 1044, up 300 from last year. Remarkably, the 2002 FEW Trade Show held a record 110 exhibitors, comprised mainly of industry suppliers and service providers representing every facet of the global ethanol industry. EPM has learned that the 2003 FEW will have more than 150 exhibitors.

"FEW attendance is growing at a rate better than 30 percent a year," BBI International President Mike Bryan told EPM. "The event is sailing on a powerful wave right now, due to the extraordinary growth of our industry. In terms of attendance, we expect to surpass at least one major petroleum industry conference by 2004. Considering the size of the ethanol industry compared to the oil and gas industry, an accomplishment of that nature would be an important milestone for renewable fuels."

Angela Graf, BBI International director of conferences and international development, commended the many sponsors and industry partners that made this year's FEW a tremendous success. "Their support helps bring the event together year after year," Graf said. "It's a truly collaborative effort, and a real testament to the vibrancy of our industry."

A prolific agenda of presentations and breakout sessions coupled with ethanol plant tours of facilities that rank among America's best and biggest. Attendees toured Williams BioEnergy's 100 mmgy wet-mill plant in Pekin, Ill. on June 25, and Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) giant Decatur plant on June 28.

Thanks in large part to three ethanol plant general managers who made up the steering committee for the 2002 FEW, the foundation for a meaningful and highly interesting agenda came to life at this year's event, we reported. Randy Doyal of Al-Corn, Roger Burken, of Chief Ethanol, and Nate Kimpel of New Energy Corporation worked with BBI International in developing the agenda topics for the FEW.

"We faced a big challenge - and those gentleman helped us meet it head on," said BBI International Vice President Kathy Bryan.

See the advertisement on page 36 of this publication for information on how to register for the 2003 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show in Sioux Falls, S.D., June 16-19.

Ethanol-In-Aviation Conference"If one conclusion had to be made about the Ethanol In Aviation Conference, held in Grand Forks, N.D., it was this: research and development of ethanol-based aviation fuel looks promising, but attaining certification, supply security, and industry acceptance is going to be a steep uphill climb," EPM reported in June.

Researchers, pilots and private industry representatives gathered at the University of North Dakota School of Areospace to address the pros and cons of widespread use of ethanol-based aviation fuel. Specifically, the discussions were focused on the potential of AGE85, formulated at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), and tested and certified by South Dakota State University in Brookings, Great Planes Fuel Development in Watertown, S.D., Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, and Texas Skyways.

Lender Meetings
BBI International co-sponsored and facilitated a series of three Regional Ethanol Symposiums for Lenders with USDA Rural Business/Cooperative Services and the Washington, D.C.-based Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

"Lenders are a critical element in the growth of the ethanol industry and this series is designed to enhance the knowledge base about ethanol production and policy matters amongst those who are financing these value-added projects," we reported in July. The symposiums were held in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York throughout the summer.

"The information provided at the San Francisco symposium was absolutely invaluable to me," Cindy Holland of CoBank told EPM.

DOE Workshops & Ohio/Michigan Biofuels Conference
Throughout the course of the year, EPM reports on one-day, state-level ethanol workshops and meetings throughout the country. In November, we reported on the Department of Energy's (DOE) Ethanol Workshop meeting in Honolulu. We will report on additional DOE Ethanol Workshop meetings in 2003; meetings are planned for Reno, Nevada, Topeka, Kansas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Frankfort Kentucky. Although the focus of the workshop series is cellulose-ethanol, a partnership with the grain-ethanol industry is encouraged. The concept is to build within the state a broad-based mutual foundation of knowledge that prepares for the day when cellulose-ethanol is ready for commercialization. The development of markets for ethanol is also a major part of the overall program.

ACE Annual Meeting & Ethanol Conference
EPM attended the American Coalition for Ethanol's (ACE) 15th Annual Meeting & Ethanol Conference in Omaha, Neb., and reported on the event in our July issue.

ACE said this year's event was larger than ever, boasting an attendance of over 700 ACE members and friends, as well as a successful trade show. The "ethanol plant update" has become a tradition and highlight at the ACE show. In 2002, a packed room of attendees listened intently as 31 ethanol producers and future producers provided updates on their new and completed projects. "It's a;ways exciting to hear what all of our ethanol producer members are doing," ACE Executive Director Trevor Guthmiller told EPM.

Bioenergy 2002
In November, EPM reported on the Bioenergy 2002 Conference: Bioenergy for the Environment held in Boise, Idaho. About 500 hundred people attended the conference, which was hosted by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Program in September. Some of the objectives of the conference were to showcase existing and near-term opportunities for converting biomass into useful product, provide exposure to breakthrough bioenergy technologies and near-commercial bioenergy programs, and highlight the common bond with agriculture where biomass meets the road: agriculture plus energy. Dave Vander Griend, of ICM Inc., Bill Holmberg, of Global Biorefinery, and Ralph Groschen, of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, each received an award of recognition at the event.