Asia Energy and Chemical Forum

Thursday, 14 March 2024 ∙ Conrad Tokyo

Seats are complimentary and limited

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Energy Crossroads: Embracing Solid Fuels and Chemicals Amidst Energy Transition


Examine the dynamic interplay of the global economy, energy landscape and sustainable chemistry at our upcoming seminar. From the resilient foundations of steel and metal to the groundbreaking frontiers of hydrogen and carbon, our agenda delves into the entire energy and chemical value chain, identifying the critical touchpoints that shape each industry’s trajectory.

OPIS, Chemical Market Analytics and McCloskey experts will discuss the intersection of innovation and responsibility as we examine supply costs, demand price discovery and outlooks for oil, gas, coal, steel, plastics, carbon, hydrogen, chemicals and more. Engage in conversations that shed light on the future of energy, chemicals and raw materials.

Join us for a comprehensive analysis of the impact of sustainability measures across the energy and chemical markets and how you can maneuver your business safely through the crossroads.

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Date and Venue

Conrad Tokyo, Japan

Thursday, 14 March 2024

9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (JST)
Lunch, coffee breaks and cocktail reception are included

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Expert Presenters

Veteran Industry Professionals from OPIS, Chemical Market Analytics and McCloskey


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Price Assessments, Short- and Long-Term Outlooks, Analytics and Insights

Energy & Feedstock – Energy Macro Service, NGL & Naphtha Service (Outlooks, Insights, Price Assessments)

World Analysis – Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), Sodium Sulfate, Nitrile Latex (NBL), Pyrolysis Gasoline (PyGas), Polyacetal (POM Polymers)

Steel Raw Materials Markets & Research

Compliance and Voluntary Carbon Market Reports

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Session 1: Energy and Economy

9:00 am
Welcome Remark

Lindsey Bernard, Vice President, Global Sales, OPIS

9:05 am
Energy & Chemicals Structural Disruptions on the Horizon

Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Energy Transition is an accelerating force for the energy and chemical markets with an expected inflection in fuels demand growth by the end of this decade. Stakeholders are making decisions today to decarbonize energy supply, reduce GHG emissions, participate in the carbon economy, and diversify their product portfolios. In addition, trade patterns are shifting with changing geopolitics and shifting demographics. Finally, the plastics waste problem is increasing and remains an existential threat to the chemical industry.

9:25 am
Energy and Feedstocks Trending in Different Directions

Steve Lewandowski, Vice President, Global Olefins & Derivatives Team Lead, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Energy transition means less oil and gas production, altering the traditional model where petrochemical feedstocks were byproducts. Despite increasing demand for petrochemicals, the shift imposes a cost burden on both the petrochemical industry and the end consumer. Balancing this dynamic becomes crucial in navigating the evolving energy landscape.

9:45 am
Dynamics of NGL and Naphtha

Alex Theo, Senior Journalist, OPIS

The cracking economics of naphtha vs propane in Asia and their susceptibility to geopolitical events and economic concerns will be uncovered, and how the Russia-Ukraine war has reshaped naphtha flows into Asia and created tiered markets. Other regional views include how the US and Middle East propane continue to tussle for market share in Asia amid volatile freight rates, and how the Chinese demand will be key in absorbing LPG flows into Asia.

10:05 am
Coal, LNG, and the Future of Power in APAC

James Stevenson, Executive Director & Research Lead, Coals, Metals & Mining, McCloskey by OPIS

The energy transition is evolving globally, as the drive towards lower carbon is tempered by the realities around how quickly that change can occur. Alongside challenges of moving away from running grids without fossil fuels is the requirement to meet expectations for strong power demand growth, as the world ‘electrifies’. While coal demand globally has been gradually flattening, and has been expected to decline, some countries—most notably China—have increased their appetite for coal dramatically in recent years. LNG remains coal’s main competitor in APAC. How will that competition dynamic evolve?

10:25 am

Question and answer session of the topics from the morning plenary.

10:40 am
Networking & Coffee Break


Session 2: OPIS View – Energy Transition

11:00 am
Presentation & Panel Discussion: Selective Deglobalization – Impact on the Energy and Chemical Industry

Moderator: John Howland, Vice President, McCloskey by OPIS


By the end of 2022, only 14 countries remained outside the World Trade Organization (WTO). Analyzing trade volumes pre and post-General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) or WTO accession reveals a consistent uptick in trade for nearly all nations. The increasing global integration of economies has been a key driver of growth but has also introduced instability. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in globally interlinked supply chains, prompting a reassessment of the advantages of unrestricted globalization. With the global economy leaning towards selective deglobalization, how will this shift impact the chemical industry?

11:45 am
Presentation & Panel Discussion: The Carbon Economy: Deep Dive into Carbon

Moderator: John Howland, Vice President, McCloskey by OPIS


CORSIA’s impact on the carbon market raises concerns due to the lack of eligible compliance credits, leaving uncertainty about the market’s ability to handle corresponding adjustments. Only eight million existing offsets may qualify for Phase I starting 2024, intensifying anticipation of a demand surge. In 2023, the broader voluntary market exhibited diverse price trends, remaining robust for high-quality projects and sharply declining for credits linked to misrepresented benefits. ICVCM’s Core Carbon Principal and offset acceptance in national compliance schemes are poised to enhance quality standards and drive growth in the voluntary market. The introduction of CBAM is expected to stimulate the development of more domestic carbon markets. This prompts questions about how chemical producers and importers can align with regulations, manage emissions costs, and influence trade flows in the sector.

12:30 pm


Session 3: Energy, Commodities, and Chemicals –
Recovery In Midst Of Structural Disruptions

1:30 pm
Opening Remark

John Howland, Vice President, McCloskey by OPIS

1:35 pm
Capacity Carnival Before Peaking Carbon Emission

William Chen, Ph.D, Executive Director, Asia Olefins, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Despite slow demand recovery, high feedstock costs, and overbuilt capacity impacting olefin production economics in Asia, aggressive expansion continues, especially in mainland China. The motivation behind this surge goes beyond conventional factors like self-sufficiency, demand growth, or margins. Instead, investments are fueled by decarbonization goals. The crucial questions revolve around how producers can navigate oversupply and poor margins, the duration of overcapacity, and the key steps for olefins to achieve net zero.

2:00 pm
Green Steel, Hydrogen, and the Changing Competitive Marketplace for Steel

Dr. James Stevenson, Research Lead, McCloskey by OPIS

Marina Maliushkina, Senior Research Analyst, Coals, Metals & Mining, McCloskey by OPIS

The hard-to-abate global steel industry faces a huge challenge as it increasingly becomes a focus of decarbonization efforts. Will the industry be able to evolve fast enough? And how will it evolve amid a global market increasingly characterized by protectionism? How will green steel technologies evolve? Which green steel technologies will be the winners and losers as the sector decarbonizes? Will there be enough coal to meet BF/BOF demand needs? Underinvestment in coal and tightness in scrap availability means there is a lot of pressure on green steel to step in. If it doesn’t – could that mean a tight steel market in the 2030s?

2:30 pm
Refining & Aromatics: An Interlinked World

Brian Lee, Executive Director, Asia Benzene & Styrene, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

China’s mega-scale investments post 2018 have put almost all aromatics products into an oversupplied territory. This has also created a new industry structure, where businesses integrated from refining to downstream now dominate the marketplace. The post COVID recovery in gasoline demand and margins also opened up a sometimes unexplored option for several aromatics producers, who were able to benefit from demand from octane blend components. After having benefitted from this for the past couple of years, the question now is how long it will last and how does energy transition impact the future.

2:55 pm
Coffee & Networking Break

3:15 pm
Presentation & Panel Discussion: Energy Transition: Implications to Energy, Feedstocks and Chemicals

Moderator: Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS


The long-term impact of the energy transition will involve shifting from a historical dominance of hydrocarbons (coal, crude oil, and gas) to an increased reliance on nuclear and renewable sources. This change has the potential to disrupt the longstanding connection between the energy and chemical industries, particularly in key commodity chemistries like olefins and aromatics derivatives, which traditionally relied on hydrocarbons. What are the various dimensions in which this shift may unfold, and what implications could arise from it?

4:00 pm
How will Sustainability Shape the Future of Polyolefin Demand?

Joel Morales, Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers (North America), Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

4:35 pm
The Changing Face of Syngas Chemicals: Supply Versus Demand Growth and Where Grey Meets Green

Xiaomeng Ma, Director, Asia Methanol, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Syngas chemicals—mainly methanol, ammonia and hydrogen—are critical energy carriers in the petrochemical industry. On the production side, current syngas feedstocks are almost exclusively natural gas and Chinese coal. Methanol, ammonia and hydrogen play an important role in energy transition and sustainability development. Demand growth in the last ten years has been largely driven by MTO, with strong fuels growth. But as growth into MTO declines, future demand will be driven more by traditional chemical derivatives, with methanol into marine fuel and vehicle fuel a constantly growing and topical upside. Methanol – and potentially ammonia – offer ship operators new solutions in terms of fuels that reduce polluting emissions and set themselves on a path to carbon neutrality and sustainability. The methanol and ammonia industries are beginning their decarbonization journey, with new technologies and feedstocks and some consumers looking to purchase green, not grey product. Find out the anticipated evolution of the syngas industry over the next decade, the implications for pricing, supply-demand, trade, and the types of companies participating in the market.

5:00 pm
Closing Fireside Chat: The Next Decade – Charting a Sustainable Course for the Energy and Chemical Industry

Moderator: John Howland, Vice President, McCloskey by OPIS


5:35 pm
Closing Remark

Lindsey Bernard, Vice President, Global Sales, OPIS

5:40 pm
Cocktail Reception

7:00 pm


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Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, A Dow Jones Company                        McCloskey by OPIS, A Dow Jones Compan