St Margaret’s Youth Steel Orchestra


  • St Margaret’s Youth Steel Orchestra

    Since its inception in 2009, the St Margaret’s Youth Steel Orchestra has become one of the premier steelbands representing Trinidad and Tobago around the world. The Belmont-based orchestra is a product of the successful Pan Programme initiated by St. Margaret’s Boys Anglican Primary School in 2002 and has benefited from the support of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL).

    The initial purpose of the programme was to get children of the Belmont community off the streets and away from negative elements. The original band, the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican School Steel Orchestra, won the under-13 Panorama championship 10 times.

    One of the band’s most outstanding achievements was its selection to perform at Carnegie Hall at the 2015 New York Sounds of Summer International Music Festival. This was the first time a Steel Orchestra had performed at the prestigious venue since the Desperados Steel Band’s performance in 1987 under the direction of the late Pat Bishop.

    The band’s trip to Carnegie Hall was sponsored by MHTL to the tune of US$100,000. At the handover ceremony, Daniel Cudjoe, a Standard 4 student who had been playing the steel pan for over 5 years said, “I love playing pan because it takes you to beautiful adventures all over the world. I can’t wait to perform at Carnegie Hall, it’s my first time leaving Trinidad. I am really looking forward to meeting other people who love pan just as much as I do!”

    Rosemarie Abraham, who has been the coordinator of the Pan Programme since its inception in 2002, commented, “It was humbling to see the family that has been formed by these children over the years. They’ve worked so hard and I am truly happy to be able to witness their efforts pay off.” In April 2016 the Orchestra, again with the assistance of MHTL, participated in the USA Music Festival held at Universal Studios in Orlando and placed first and won the Championship Trophy.

    The Orchestra also participated in the Junior International Youth Festival in Mexico and the Guadeloupe Music Festival, where the young musicians received the National Youth Action Committee (NYAC) Award for the Top Twenty Stars of Tomorrow. The group has had various performances at the Florida Memorial University Youth Steel Band Festival and in 2014, represented their country at the 18th Annual World Championships of the Performing Arts in California.

    In addition, the Orchestra has performed for the King and Queen of Spain and Queen Elizabeth II in Trinidad.

    The Orchestra continues to represent T&T as it travels worldwide and its talent and professionalism continue to garner kudos for the organisation and the country. The group has been selected to perform at the Los Angeles International Music Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in June 2017. Again MHTL will provide financial assistance for this endeavour.

    It should be noted that under the patronage of MHTL, the Orchestra would be producing video recordings of the National Anthems of T&T and India, to be played at the T&T Independence celebrations in August to be held at the country’s High Commission in New Delhi India.

    To promote musical skill development among young pan players, the Orchestra will host a Youth Classical Music Festival, Youth Pan Extravaganza and Workshop from August 4 to 6, which would be sponsored by MHTL. A similar youth musical extravaganza was successfully held in 2016.

    For the 2017 Youth Classical Music Festival, Youth Pan Extravaganza and Workshop, the group has invited two International Adjudicators, Dr. Dawn Batson and Dr. Jimmy Finny from Florida Memorial University and an International Composer, Mr. Brett Abigana, to T&T for the Festival. Mr. Abigana has written a piece for the Orchestra which will be performed at the Festival. The musicologists will also carry out the workshop which aims to improve the musicology of the youth steel orchestras and assist the young arrangers in their advancement in music in T&T.

    The Pan Extravaganza will highlight the work done through the Pan Programme at primary and secondary school level, with performances by St. Margaret’s Youth Steel Orchestra, St Margaret’s Anglican School Class Ensemble, Success Stars Pan Sounds and Trinidad All Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, and the Junior Panorama 2017 Champions – BP Renegades Youth Steel Orchestra, St. Francois Girls’ College and St. Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican School.

    Following the Carnegie Hall performance, the orchestra was invited to play in Prague, Czech Republic at St. John of Nepomuk-Navalis Festival in May 2018. The invitation was made to the band by the Czech Republic Ambassador, who witnessed the performance and was so fascinated that he wanted them to share their music with his country.

    The orchestra also engages in charity work as it gives back to the community from which it came. It gives an annual performance at the Christmas party at St. Ann’s Hospital and distributes Christmas hampers to the less fortunate of the community. The group also gives performances at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church and an upcoming concert to be held in August will see proceeds go towards to the completion of the building of a parish hall.

    Manager of the orchestra, Mr. Kurt Abraham said the discipline that these youths developed via the programme has trained them to be very upstanding individuals. He added, “The moment I started seeing the older boys act like father figures to the younger students, that’s when I realized how impactful this program was on these kids. I have watched these students become teachers in their own way and they are now role models that even I would like to follow.”

    The MHTL commitment to undertakings such as these is founded on the belief that investing in the human resources of the future while providing support for the arts is among the more meaningful interventions the corporate sector can make.

    Company chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb, said MHTL was naturally drawn to this venture “because first we saw our children – that precious resource in securing our nation’s future.”

  • MHTL Takes Over Sponsorship of Starlift Steel Orchestra

    Very pleased to be taking part in the signing of a three year Partnership Agreement between Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) and the Starlift Steel Orchestra (Starlift) on October 13 are:

    (From right) MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb, Nello Ramkissoon, CFO (standing), Dennis Patrick, CEO and (from left), Starlift’s Vice Captain, Marius Caballero, Rhona Harris, Secretary and Michael Franco, Captain.


    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15 2015: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO –There were smiles all around on Tuesday, October 13 at the offices of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL), when the company and executive members of the Starlift Steel Orchestra officially signed a three year sponsorship agreement with the well-known Woodbrook steelband.

    MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb, Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Patrick and Chief Financial Officer, Nello Ramkissoon along with Starlift Steel Orchestra’s Captain, Michael Franco, Vice-Captain, Marius Caballero and Band Secretary, Rhona Harris were all in attendance as the seal of approval was put on this local “large band” which will now be known as “MHTL Starlift Steel Orchestra.”

    Dr. Euric Bobb, Chairman of MHTL shared his enthusiasm on the new partnership, saying, “MHTL and its parent companies recognise the value of supporting the communities in which we operate. As such, we actively contribute to the well-being of the people of Trinidad and Tobago through education, training and personal development.”

    He went on to state that “Many times people on the outside think that a sponsorship is only about money. However to us at MHTL, it is more about building a partnership with Starlift as the leadership of the band develops the orchestra into an institution with strong character, discipline and hard work that would enrich the social capital of its community and beyond. We at MHTL will indeed be there to work with you and to help you to become established among the premier bands in the country.”

    In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Dennis Patrick stated that “Despite the challenging business environment, MHTL has turned its attention to the significant developmental and social benefits to be derived from investment in the steelband movement as part of its commitment to the people and culture of Trinidad and Tobago.”

    He further stated that “This innovative and productive enterprise with its consequent rewards of self-discipline and self-esteem, has provided a means of encouraging youngsters to put their energy into productive pursuits thus building stronger and more successful communities.”

    In responding, a very elated Michael Franco, Captain of Starlift Steel Orchestra, said “I wish to express on behalf of all the members of Starlift, our deepest gratitude to the management of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited and its major shareholders Proman AG of Switzerland and Helm AG of Germany for the confidence which you have placed in us.“

    He continued “We look forward to this investment in the people and culture of Trinidad and Tobago and we promise that we will certainly make you proud!”

    Franco went on to state that “Trinidad and Tobago and the Woodbrook community can look forward to good things in the future as we do our utmost to make the MHTL Starlift Steel Orchestra a major player in the steelband arena.”



    Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd (MHTL) is a privately owned petrochemical company based on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, Trinidad, being a a producer of methanol for over 30 years and since 2010 has also been producing ammonia, UAN and melamine.

    The company is owned by parent company Consolidated Energy Limited which is itself owned by Proman AG based in Switzerland and Helm AG based in Germany,. It is the number one exporter of methanol to the US market and the 2nd largest methanol producer in the world and accounts for 23% of the global methanol trade.

  • MHTL and SCC


    MHTL and SCC are Pleased to Announce the Termination of Trade Investigation against Imports of Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago on December 3, 2015, Houston – Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited and Southern Chemical Corporation wish to announce that the U.S. International Trade Commission has unanimously determined that imports of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago did not injure the U.S. industry. Yesterday’s vote marked the end of an investigation that began in November 2014 with the filing of antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against imports of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago, as well as from China. As a result of yesterday’s decision, this investigation on imports of melamine from Trinidad will now end, and no additional duties will be imposed.

    “We want to thank officials of the International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, and their staff for their diligent work in this investigation,” stated Jan W. Spin, President of Southern Chemical Corporation. “This decision is positive news for our customers and for end users of melamine based products, and we greatly appreciate their support throughout this process.” In a separate vote, the Commission concluded that imports of melamine from China injured the U.S. melamine industry. As a result of yesterday’s decision by the Commission and prior decisions from the U.S. Department of Commerce,
    antidumping and countervailing duty orders will be imposed against melamine imports from China, which will require additional duty deposits in excess of 500 percent.

    Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) is a leading global producer of Methanol, UAN (32% N), Melamine and Ammonia. MHTL has a global distribution network, with its products marketed by Southern Chemical Corporation in the Americas and Helm AG in Europe and Asia.
    Southern Chemical Corporation delivers the highest level of service and solutiondriven logistics to maximize the building blocks of your business. Backed by security of supply and a reliable distribution network, SCC distributes methanol and melamine to small and large companies throughout the Americas.
    For more information, visit and

    2 Northpoint Drive, Suite 975 Houston, TX 77060 Main: (832) 448-7100 Fax: (832) 448-7101

  • MHTL to Partner with G2X Energy in construction of new world class Methanol to Gas plant

    HOUSTON, December 18, G2X Energy, Inc. (G2X Energy) and Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited (MHTL) announced today that MHTL intends to partner with G2X Energy to construct the world-scale methanol-to-gasoline MTG-ready, methanol production facility being developed by G2X Energy in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Big Lake Fuels LLC facility will produce 1.4 million metric tons of commercial-grade methanol per year and will have the necessary facilities to convert methanol to automotive gasoline in the future. As part of MHTL’s potential investment into G2X Energy and the Big Lake Fuels plant, MHTL will enter into the negotiation of an exclusive offtake agreement to market the entire production of ethanol from Big Lake Fuels’ first methanol plant.

    “We look forward to partnering with MHTL and its owners Proman Holding AG and Helm AG in the construction, operation and marketing of the Big Lake Fuels plant. MHTL is a recognized leader in the production and sale of methanol worldwide. Coupling MHTL’s significant presence in the existing methanol markets and their marketing, construction and operational expertise with G2X Energy’s proven experience in the U.S. natural gas market and U.S. development and financial markets will ensure successful execution of the project and long-term production of low cost methanol,” said G2X Energy President and CEO Tim Vail. “The Big Lake Fuels plant will initially produce methanol, and methanol-to-gasoline production will be an option in the future.”

    “MHTL has been serving the U.S. market for over three decades and we, our shareholders Proman and Helm and our U.S. marketing partner Southern Chemical Corp. are very excited to announce our intention to partner with G2X Energy in this project,” said Dennis Patrick, CEO of MHTL. “This strengthens our existing leadership position and gives us a competitive advantage in the growing U.S. methanol market.”The plant will be located on a 200-acre site on the Calcasieu Industrial Canal off of the main Calcasieu Ship Channel. The site is ideally located adjacent to multiple large natural gas pipelines and industrial electricity connectivity, and affords the option to ship methanol via barge or oceangoing vessel. The site has the capability to support multiple production process trains and has been secured from the Port of Lake Charles under a long-term lease agreement.

    Bill Rase, Executive Director of the Port of Lake Charles, views the G2X/MHTL partnership as yet another significant milestone in the development of the Big Lake Fuels project. “G2X has worked very well with the Port and the Lake Charles community over the last couple of years. We are very optimistic that this partnership will further strengthen the project and benefit the Lake Charles area for years to come. We are very pleased to welcome MHTL to Lake Charles and Louisiana and look forward to supporting the project going forward.”

    The facility will be constructed by the Proman Group under a fixed price EPC contract. Proman, based in Wollerau, Switzerland, has extensive experience building methanol production facilities. The company has built five world-scale plants in Trinidad and Oman similar in design to the Big Lake Fuels plant. The plant will utilize steam reforming and methanol synthesis technologies from Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Limited.

    The plant received its air and construction permit from the state of Louisiana on May 25. Construction is expected to begin in early 2015, after the project obtains the remaining permits and completes initial engineering.
    G2X Energy anticipates the project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs during the three-year construction period. Once the methanol plant is operational, there will be more than 125 full-time operations personnel at the plant, with that number expected to grow when MTG and methanol plant expansions are complete. For more information visit or contact Sandy Fitch at (713) 943-2200 or

    About G2X Energy, Inc.
    Houston-based G2X Energy develops, owns and operates production facilities that convert natural gas to methanol and drop-in automotive gasoline. Transforming gasoline production by leveraging existing infrastructure and proven conversion technologies, G2X meets the demand for low cost fuels and chemicals using abundant, clean, domestic natural gas.

    About Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited
    MHTL is one of the largest methanol producers in the world with a total capacity of over 4 million metric tons annually from its five (5) methanol plants located at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate on the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The company is the largest supplier of methanol to North America and is also a significant supplier to the European Market.

    About Helm AG,
    Helm, based in Hamburg, Germany, is one of the world’s major independent chemicals marketing enterprises with more than 90 subsidiaries, sales offices and participations in over 30 countries.

  • From Belmont to Carnegie



    SATURDAY, MAY 9 2015: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – It has been 28 years since the prestigious Carnegie Hall has been filled with the sweet sound of our national instrument, the steel pan. Now, thanks to the St. Margaret’s Boys Steel Orchestra, which qualified to participate in the 2015 New York Sounds of Summer International Music Festival, Trinidad and Tobago will once again be present at this ‘Mecca’ of musical venues on June 17th 2015.

    Understanding the importance of not only promoting education in art, literature and music but also encouraging the youth to be fully involved in the art’s progress, Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited (MHTL) has generously donated US$100,000 to fulfil the dream of these youngsters to go from Belmont to Carnegie Hall, New York.

    MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb and C.E.O, Mr. Dennis Patrick, presented a cheque to the orchestra’s Manager, Mr. Kurt Abraham, at the official handover, which took place on Thursday May 7 at the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican Primary School, Belmont in the presence of the school’s Principal, Colette Perez, and other committed friends of the orchestra.

    The Orchestra has been a product of the successful Pan Programme that was initiated by the Belmont school. It was first created to get children ages 10 to 18 from the Belmont community off the streets and away from negative elements and has grown into an orchestra that has been the recipient of many prestigious awards throughout the years.

    As a result of the astounding efforts and the high quality of craftsmanship demonstrated by the Belmont youngsters, Trinidad and Tobago has been awarded the opportunity to make musical history at Carnegie Hall for the second time since the performance by the Desperados Steel Band in 1987.

    At the handover ceremony, Daniel Cudjoe a Standard 4 student who has been playing the steel pan for over 5 years expressed how grateful he was to MHTL for this opportunity. He added, “I love playing pan because it takes you to beautiful adventures all over the world. I can’t wait to perform at Carnegie Hall, it’s my first time leaving Trinidad. I am really looking forward to meeting other people who love pan just as much as I do!”

    After observing the youngsters orchestra during their rehearsals, Chairman of MHTL Dr. Bobb could not contain how impressed he was, “It’s truly remarkable to see such dedication and professionalism from such young musicians. Their enthusiasm is refreshing! I am positive they will take full advantage of this opportunity.”

    Rosemarie Abraham, who has been the coordinator of the Pan Program since its inception in 2002 also shared the tremendous progress the orchestra has made, she commented, “It was humbling to see the family that has been formed by these children over the years. They’ve worked so hard and I am truly happy to be able to witness their efforts pay off.”

    The manager of the orchestra, Mr. Kurt Abraham, also pointed out that the discipline that these youths developed via the program has trained them to be very upstanding individuals. He added, “The moment I started seeing the older boys act like father figures to the younger students, that’s when I realized how impactful this program was on these kids. They are now role models that even I would like to follow. I have watched these students become teachers in their own way and now I get to see them be rewarded for it at Carnegie Hall.”



    These talents from St. Margaret’s Boys’ Steel Orchestra, together with the Orchestra’s Manager, Kurt Abraham (left) and St. Margaret’s Boys Anglican Primary School’s Principal, Colette Perez (2nd from right), are all smiles as they receive a US$100,000 cheque donated by MHTL. Presenting the cheque are MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb (2nd from left) and MHTL’s CEO, Dennis Patrick (right).

    Newly appointed MHTL’s Chairman, Dr. Euric Bobb, receives his first steel pan lesson from young talent Kerneil Scipio

    Members of the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Steel Orchestra pause for a memorable pose after receiving a US$100,000 cheque from MHTL for their performance at Carnegie Hall, New York City

    MHTL’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dennis Patrick, tries his hand at the steel pan during the MHTL handover on May 7 at the
    St. Margaret’s Boys Anglican School.

    Members of the St. Margaret’s Boys’ Steel Orchestra rehearsing for their upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City

  • G2x Energy Announces Commercial Operations

    For Immediate Release:
    G2X Energy/Kathryn Smith
    (713) 627-8777




    First Methanol Shipment Occurred Friday


    HOUSTON, June 1, 2015 – G2X Energy, a developer/operator of advanced natural gas to methanol and fuel projects, announced today that their Pampa, Texas based methanol plant is fully operational and has completed their first shipment of methanol. After building commercial quantities of inventory on site, the plant shipped its first two railcars of IMPCA specification methanol and will continue to ship railcars on a daily basis to customers throughout the Texas panhandle region. “We are extremely pleased to have achieved commercial methanol production at our Pampa, Texas facility,” stated Tim Vail, President and CEO of G2X Energy who went on to say, “This plant represents the rebirth of the petrochemical business in the Texas panhandle. By revitalizing an abandoned industrial site and leveraging the widespread availability of low-cost of shale gas, we have brought high quality jobs and prosperity back to the Pampa area.”

    Commercial operations at the Pampa facility is just the start of G2X’s rapid expansion in North America. Through its partnership with Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited and Southern Chemical Corporation, G2X is enlarging its North American operations with the construction of a world-scale methanol facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana as well as the acquisition of natural gas reserves in the Piceance basin of Colorado as well as other areas.


    Although G2X is rapidly expanding, their top priority remains safety and environmental excellence. “What is most important to us is, and always will be, the safety of our employees and neighbors. The start-up of the Pampa plant proceeded extremely smoothly. I want to thank all of the dedicated Pampa employees as well as our colleagues from Germany and Trinidad that helped G2X start the plant in such a safe and efficient manner. I look forward to many years of safe, stable and efficient operations at the facility.” stated Mr. Vail.

    For more information regarding G2X Energy, please contact Sandy Fitch at (713) 943-2200 or For interview opportunities,
    please contact Kathryn Smith at (713) 252-5414 or (713) 627-8777.

    About G2X Energy, Inc.

    Houston-based G2X Energy develops, owns and operates production facilities that convert natural gas to methanol and drop-in automotive gasoline. Transforming methanol and gasoline production by leveraging existing infrastructure and proven conversion technologies, G2X meets the demand for cost-competitive fuels and chemicals using abundant, clean, domestic natural gas.

    For more information visit or call (713) 943-2200.

  • MHTL, St Margaret’s bring magic to Carnegie


  • Chief Executive Officer

    The Board of Directors of Methanol Holdings
    (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) is pleased to announce the confirmation of
    Mr. Dennis Patrick as the Chief Executive Officer

    Mr. Patrick, who has worked in the energy sector for over 35 years, joined MHTL in 1996 in the Commercial Department. Prior to taking up the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer in 2013, he was the company’s Chief Commercial Officer,
    with responsibility for the global commercial, marketing and logistics activities for its Methanol, Ammonia, UAN solution and Melamine products.

    A Chemical Engineer by training, Mr. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of the West Indies and a Master’s in Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University.

    Mr. Patrick is currently the Chairman of the Board and an Executive Committee Member of the Methanol Institute, which is the global trade association for the Methanol industry. We are confident that Mr. Patrick will take MHTL to higher levels of growth and success with his stewardship.

    We and our shareholder, Consolidated Energy Limited, remain as committed to Trinidad and Tobago for the next 30 years, and beyond… as we have been for the past 30 years. We look forward to working with Government, the National Gas Company and all stakeholders to continue to develop the Energy Industry of Trinidad and Tobago and in particular, the Downstream Petrochemical sector.

  • Opening Remarks MI Middle East Methanol Forum

    His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of the State of Qatar;

    Mr. Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, Chairman, Qatar Petroleum Board of Directors, Chairman Qatar Fuel Additives Company Limited (QAFAC) and Chief Executive Officer, RasGas Company Limited;

    Mr. Nasser Jeham Al-Kuwari, Chief Executive Officer, QAFAC;

    Distinguished MEMF conference team, speakers, participants, ladies and gentlemen… As-sah-lah-mu ah-lay-koom . Good Morning.

    On behalf of the Methanol Institute, I am very pleased that we are able to support and participate in today’s important conference, and I would like to thank His Excellency for his patronage, and Nasser and the QAFAC team for their hard work in organizing what promises to be a very successful forum today.

    The Methanol Institute – or MI as many of you know us – is a nonprofit, trade association headquartered in Singapore, with regional offices in Washington DC, Brussels, and Beijing. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greg Dolan, MI’s CEO, and the MI staff for their continuing hard work on behalf of the methanol industry.

    MI was founded in 1989 as the American Methanol Institute to further the growth of the US methanol market. Over the last 25 years, we have seen a rapid expansion of our industry globally, and the trade association has evolved and kept pace with this growth.

    In 2009, we moved our headquarters office to Singapore so that we could better support our members’ global activities and the development of markets around the world, including the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Through the leadership of QAFAC and other Gulf methanol producers who are among MI’s 36 member companies, MI’s mission has expanded across the Middle East and the greater Asia Pacific regions.

    MI has strategic partnerships with a number of key organizations worldwide, including the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association – GPCA – which held its Annual Forum earlier this week in Dubai. I know many of you came here from Dubai, and we appreciate your participation here today.

    Through five standing committees, MI works primarily as a liaison between our members and policy leaders worldwide. We work with our public and private sector partners to help further the development of the methanol industry, with an emphasis on managing the industry’s transition from chemical commodity to global energy resource.

    Another important aspect of MI’s work is product stewardship, ensuring the safe use, handling, and distribution of methanol throughout the global supply chain. Similar to QAFAC and other MI members, the Institute commits significant staff and financial resources to support methanol safe practices worldwide. This includes development and dissemination of methanol safe handling tools to all parts of the globe.

    As many of you know, a key area of attention of MI’s product stewardship efforts in the last two years has been on addressing the growing concern globally of methanol ingestion.

    MI believes the Gulf region can play a critical role in the future of the methanol industry. This area is quickly becoming a hub for cutting edge methanol technologies such as carbon dioxide recovery and CO2- to-methanol production.

    As some states explore direct methanol fuel blending, MI has been working behind the scenes to help our members interested in bringing the latest methanol vehicle technology from China, to the region. Kai Zhao, an advisor to one of MI’s sister organizations in Beijing – the China Association of Alcohol & Ether Clean Fuel and Automobiles, or CAAEFA – will present later today on the developments in this amazing market and the potential, positive impact for Qatar and the Gulf region as a whole.

    Methanol’s chemical formula, CH3OH, is often abbreviated colloquially within the industry as “MeOH.” From this acronym, today’s conference theme was derived: “Miracle Energy On Hand.” The theme is an appropriate one, as beyond the traditional uses of methanol, there are new, exciting – some might even say phenomenal – chemical- and energy-related applications and technologies that we are seeing on the horizon today. MI believes that these new applications and technologies will revolutionize not only our industry, but the daily lives of the people we touch in Qatar and around the world.

    Jim Boettcher, Board Chairman of Oorja Fuel Cells, will share with you later today his company’s efforts to use methanol as a hydrogen carrier fuel to power the latest fuel cell technology. We are already seeing methanol fuel cells used successfully for remote mobile phone towers in several countries and to power forklifts in factories and warehouses. Combining multiple fuel cells can also enable off-grid power generation for schools, airports and government buildings.

    As I mentioned previously, carbon dioxide recovery – and conversion of CO2-to-methanol – is an important emerging technology which will allow methanol producers to capture CO2 during the production process and convert it to additional methanol. Looking further ahead, technologies are being developed to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere for conversion into methanol. QAFAC is one of several companies in the region successfully utilizing Carbon Dioxide Recovery technology, in so doing helping to ensure long-term environmental protection and sustainability.

    Next year, we will start to see a sea-change in methanol markets as methanol will not only be a cargo in ships’ tanks but will also be used as a fuel for ships’ engines. MI and its members believe this new market has great potential globally, and particularly in the Gulf where so much of the world’s methanol supplies are shipped.

    Emissions from traditional bunker fuel – including SOx and NOx – have been highly polluting. The International Maritime Organization is establishing emission control areas – or ECAs – to limit ship emissions. These ECAs are currently in Northern Europe and along the coasts of North America.

    By 2020, all marine fuels globally will be required to contain a maximum of 0.5% sulphur with additional cuts in nitrogen oxide emissions. These restrictions, combined with an estimated 90,000 vessels plying the global oceans, represent an historic opportunity to increase methanol demand in the coming years. Few options exist for helping to mitigate marine engine emissions, and methanol is viewed as the most effective and low-cost option.

    In June, an MI delegation led by Ben Iosefa from Methanex, who serves as MI’s Vice Chairman, went to Trieste, Italy to see firsthand the work being done by Wartsila on methanol marine engine development. Toni Stojcevski from Wartsila will present later today the work they are doing, and he will talk about shipping companies like ferry operator Stena, who plan to convert 25 of their ferries to run on methanol by 2018. These conversions will create an additional methanol demand of approximately 625,000 tonnes per year. In addition, Methanex has recently ordered six new vessels powered by MAN dual-fuel methanol/diesel engines.

    From these and other developments, you can see the exciting future ahead of us in the methanol industry, and one in which I am certain that Qatar and the Gulf region will play a critical role. MI welcomes the opportunity to work with all stakeholders, and I know my fellow Board Directors and the MI staff would be pleased to talk with you about the benefits of becoming a member, and how we can help your company achieve its global mission.

    I would like once again to thank QAFAC for asking MI to support and participate in this conference, and I wish you all a very informative and engaging dialogue with today’s featured speakers and panelists, and with your fellow participants.


    Thank you.