By Ben DuBose
VIDEO: See on-site interview with Gulf
Publishing Company CEO John Royall
MILAN, Italy -- The annual International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC)
opened its doors on Wednesday, bringing record hydrocarbon
processing industry (HPI) attendees to the third edition of the
Its going very well, said John Royall, CEO
of Gulf Publishing Company, which organized the conference
alongside Italian host eni.
We launched this event two years ago in Rome [before
moving to Singapore in 2011], Royall added. The
idea was that we would put together the number one technical
forum in the world for professionals in the downstream
This years program
is the best weve ever put together, and with that
weve drawn teams from around the world.
Held at the MiCo Milan Congress, the largest
convention center in Europe, over 500 attendees were registered
by Wednesday morning, making it the largest audience in IRPC
Conference events began with a Tuesday tour of enis
nearby Sannazzaro de Burgondi refinery, where the companys
EST (eni slurry technology) project was
The proprietary EST technology allows for the conversion
of heavy oil residues in fine products, gasoline and gasoil.
The process converts waste oil, heavy crude and tar sands into
high-quality and performance fuels.
That was very, very well received because it is a
groundbreaking technology that creates a lot of
efficiencies and cost-savings for refiners, said
A lot of these refiners around the world found it to
be a very exciting day seeing this new technology put into place by
As a result, roughly 50% of the conferences 2012
technical agenda is focused on heavy oil. Other topics covered
on the first day include hydrogen, environment and safety and
In all, over 40 presentations are scheduled at IRPC on
Wednesday and Thursday, while another 40 or more sponsors and
exhibitors have booths set up in an adjacent hall.
Initial details for IRPC 2013, the fourth gathering of the
conference, are expected to be finalized very soon, according
to event organizers.
IRPC 2012 runs through Thursday. For more details, visit
the HPInformer blog or the event