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Topics for this year's papers

Digitalisation Technologies

Today digitalisation has become the differentiator between successful and unsuccessful refiners and producers, and a direct enabler of enhanced productivity, improved safety and competitiveness. It is important to see how robotics, IT systems and automation can support refinery engineers with their day-to-day onsite processes.

Operational Excellence, Process Optimisation & Margin Improvement

With increasing global competition and regulatory pressures refiners and producers continue to seek the means in which to capture value and margin improvements from low hanging fruit.  Leveraging tools and techniques to enhance reliability, flexibility and smarten operations must continue to be a priority for Latin America’s ageing assets. Many advanced tools are readily available but continue to not be fully exploited

Energy Efficiency & Environmental

Decarbonisation is driving the need for CO2 capture, reduction technologies and advancements. As the single largest spend after crude, minimizing energy losses is a fundamental that will never go away for Lat Am’s refiners and producers.

Crudes optimisation

With increasing amount of resources coming from Latin American fields (Shale, Pre salt, Super Heavy from the Caribbean Sea) the challenge on crudes mixes and optimization is increasing on daily basis. We are looking for technologies that can easy that burden for South American producers.

Big Data, Internet of Things and Cyber Security

Industry 4.0 has arrived and the use of big data, artificial intelligence, IoT and the protection from cyber-attacks is moving up the agenda for Latin American refiners. How can these tools be used effectively to help refiners remain not only competitive but also protected?

Refining – Petchem Integration and New Routes to Olefins

Higher efficiency internal combustion engines, increasing hybridisation and the rise of e-mobility are eroding transport fuel demand leaving refiners to seek ways to transform naphtha and diesel into more valuable products.
The future profit for refiners will be very much influenced by their petrochemical production capacity and as such must route more streams from fuel products to petrochemical products in order to maximize margins. Adding flexibility and petrochemical integration is a key survival strategy for producers.

Refinery Configuration and Conversion Technologies

Changing bunker fuel specifications and the rise of electric vehicles is driving the requirement for real molecular management. South American’s refiners must re-configure and invest in residue upgrading, hydrocracking and heavy oil conversion processes as well as maximize their middle distillates.

Catalyst Technologies

Catalysts will always be essential to the profitability, sustainability and environmental compliance of refineries. Here we will look at the latest advances in catalyst technologies and assessing how they can be integrated into refinery strategies.

Clean Fuels, Biofuels & Alternative Fuel Production

The ability to produce biofuels and the security of renewable feedstock is likely to play crucial role in the survival of LA refineries amongst upcoming environmental legislation. The production of advanced biofuels will affect refinery configuration, and put pressure on existing catalysts and consequently today’s refiners are seeking novel solutions for biomass conversion and clear pathways for the utilisation of existing refinery assets towards a low carbon future.