Two key downstream events, the Energy & Sustainability Forum (ESF Mena 2023) and Bottom of the Barrel and Catalyst Technology Conference (BBTC Mena 2023), held back to back, discussed the challenges faced by the industry to remain competitive, reliable, and profitable.

The events were held under the patronage of Dr Mohamed bin Mubarak Bin Daina, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil and Environment, Special Envoy for Climate Affairs, and hosted by the Bahrain Ministry of Oil and Environment.

The first event, ESF Mena, was being held for the second time and it sought to address the greatest challenges and most promising opportunities for the Mena region to build a truly sustainable downstream industry, with compelling contributions from an influential thought leaders and domain experts.

The speakers and panellists covered a range of topics focused on decarbonising the Mena downstream industry, including strategies, proven integrated technology solutions, achieving net zero, hydrogen, clean ammonia, and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS).

The keynote address was given by David Edmondson, CEO, Neom Green Hydrogen Company. He spoke on building the world's largest green hydrogen plant at scale.

The ESF Mena was closely followed by the 9th edition of BBTC Mena, which aimed at updating regional refiners on the latest technology solutions to help them maintain high levels of productivity, competitiveness, resilience, and profitability through upgrading heavier lower value components.

The two-day conference assembled an incredibly strong lineup of highly experienced industry stalwarts, including Vipan Goel (Art Hydroprocessing), Younis Al-Hirz (NexantECA), Fatema Hashem (Bapco), Mahmood Alawi (CLG), Sophie Babusiaux (Axens), Peter Nymann (Topsoe), David Chaplin (Bechtel), Shaikh Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bapco), Najd AlAjmi (KIPIC), Mohammed Benchekchou (Shell Catalysts & Technologies), and others.

The speakers and panellists covered a wide range of following topics, such as Coke Drum Studies and Net Present Value Economics; Environmental Coke Handling in Grassroot DCU Operations; Petrochemical Integration Using Bottom of Barrel Conversion Technologies; Innovative Integrated Upgrading Schemes; a Novel Approach Employed for KIPIC ARDS Pilot Plant Testing with Heavy Feed; High-Performance Catalyst Systems, Maximising Heavy Resid RFCC, Impact of Packaging on SDG's, Assessing Decarbonation Routes at SATORP, Active Filtration in VGO Hydrotreating, Impact of Thermal Profiling on Reaching Net-Zero, Future Proofing with Energy Efficiency - Low-cost, High ROI Solutions and many more.