2023 Conference agenda

March 29

8:00 am - 8:45 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 am - 9:00 am

Welcoming Remarks

9:00 am - 9:20 am

Day One - Opening Keynote Address


Sarah Marshall, Vice President, Sustainability, Nova Chemicals

9:20 am - 10:20 am

Session 1 - Strategies for Developing Canada's Petrochemical & Downstream Capacities


Moderator: Lynette Tremblay, Chief Operating Officer, Invest Alberta


Panel Members:
Mike Simpson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy, Government of Alberta

Geoff Bury, President & CEO, Northern Petrochemicals

Lynn Exner, Chief Operating Operator, Canada Action


10:20 am - 10:50 am

Networking Break and Exhibition

10:50 am - 11:50 am

Session 2 - Driving Sustainability & Emissions Reduction with Digitization


Moderator: Glenn Cherepak, VP, Process & Infrastructure, Spartan Controls


Panel Members: 

Ashley Marr, Vice President, Optimization & Innovation, Inter Pipeline

Kevin Wilke, Climate Solutions Leader, Nova Chemicals 

11:50 am - 12:00 pm

Networking Break

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Keynote Luncheon - Carbon Negative Bright Green Hydrogen


Presenter: Ian MacGregor, Founder, North West Refining Inc.


Introductions: Mark Kolke, Vice President, Commercial, MaxWell Capital Realty


"Where do you get it? Why Alberta is the best place to make it? When’s it going to get here? How can it reduce the carbon intensity of what we make?


I’m going to try to answer these questions based on my experience dreaming up the Sturgeon Refinery and the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line and getting them both operating.


I’m also going to try to convince you I’ve got one more left in me."


Ian MacGregor, Founder, North West Refining Inc.

1:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Networking Break

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Special Presentation: Closing the Skills Gap with Knowledge Automation


Our industry is dealing with a major challenge, which is growing every day: The Skills Gap. Plants are challenged in recruiting, onboarding and maintaining an effective workforce. The traditional way of onboarding new hires and relying on a few SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) on critical operations is not working. Knowledge Automation, deployed by the world’s biggest companies, is proven to solve this challenge, leading to safer, more productive operations.


Learn about real examples and data on how Knowledge automation platform will:


- Capture & transfer critical operator knowledge 

- Make onboarding efficient and effective

- Reduce unplanned events

- Increase revenues

- Prevent operations personnel being overwhelmed



Francis Montemurro, Operations Director, Voovio

Michael Brendel, Account Manager, Voovio

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Session 3 -  Decarbonizing Petrochemicals: The Role of SMR's, Hydrogen and CCS in Canada's Downstream Sector


Moderator: Rob Medley, Vice President, Mining and New Energy, Kiewit


Panel Members:

Monika Eby, Director of Industrial Applications, Nuclear Business Unit, HATCH

James Millar, President and CEO, International CCS Knowledge Centre

Bryant Jackson, Vice President, Canada and US Onsite, Large Industries North America, Air Liquide

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Networking Break

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Session 4 -  Planning and Implementing Strategies to Achieve Net Zero Targets


Moderator: Paul Blenkhorn, Executive Vice President, Vertex Resource Group


Panel Members:

Claudia Leon, Head of Business & Market Development, BASF

Tom McCaffery, Executive Director, Emissions Reduction Alberta

Laura Lunt, Director, Energy Services, Linde Canada Inc.

Sean Collins, CEO, Varme Energy

3:45 pm - 4:05 pm

Day One - Closing Keynote Speaker - A Petrochemical Feedstock Supply Outlook


Jordan Woloschuk, Principal Research Analyst, S&P Global Commodity Insights

4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

 Cocktails & Hors d'oeuvres Reception with Exhibitors

March 30

8:00 am - 8:45 am

 Registration and Hot Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:30 am

Day Two - Opening Keynote Presentation - Alberta's Heartland 101


David MacLean, Director, External Relations, Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Session 5 - Expanding and Enhancing the Circular Economy


presented by Alberta Plastics Recycling Association


Alberta is home to many successful examples of innovation. Organizations across the plastics value chain are exploring what it means to advance circularity within their operations from integrating technologies, to design for recycling and the movement of materials into local markets. The Circular Economy represents a new way of thinking about our resources and a shift from linear to a circular system. Hear from a panel of experts from across industry and government who can speak to what they see as the barriers and opportunities to advance plastics circularity. 


Moderator: Tammy Schwass, Executive Director, Alberta Plastics Recycling Association


Panel Members: 

Katarzyna (Kasha) Piquette, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Protected Areas, Government of Alberta

Dan Zembal, President, PolyAg Recycling Ltd.

Ravi Chauhan, Manager of Sustainability and Government Relations, BASF

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Networking Break and Exhibition

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Session 6: Developing Canada’s Petrochemical Industry: Prosperity in the Context of Sustainability 


presented by Canada West Foundation


In this session, we will explore the ways in which Canada’s petrochemical industry can prosper in the context of a national and global push for improved sustainability. Speaking with experts from the industry, we will debate whether sustainability can be a competitive advantage for Canadian petrochemical products; and we will explore who is turning up the pressure to improve sustainability, how hard it will be to meet expectations, where the industry is already making inroads, which areas of operation represent the greatest challenge, and whether the experience is likely to be different across different provinces.


Moderator: Marla Orenstein, Director of the Natural Resources Centre, Canada West Foundation


Panel Members:

Kai Horsfield, Regional Director, Western Canada, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

Don Lauweryssen, Business Consultant, Genus Enterprises Ltd 

Kathleen Coffey, President, Sentio Engineering Inc.

12:00 pm - 12:15 pm

Networking Break

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Keynote Luncheon: Politics and Petrochemicals


Mat Steppan has eight years experience as a Chief of Staff for eight Cabinet Ministers in eight departments with the Government of Alberta. Most recently, Mat was the Executive Director of the United Conservative Caucus under Premier Jason Kenney. Meanwhile Keith served as a Chief of Staff to several ministers in the former Rachel Notley government. Throughout his time in Alberta politics, Keith has worked closely and effectively with political officials in all three levels of government, and helped lead many strategic initiatives related to municipal governance, consumer protection and local election reforms in Alberta. Keith and Mat will share their perspectives on politics and the petrochemical industry, how and why political decisions are made, and what happens behind the curtains in government. We'll also tackle the 'Just Transition' and its potential impact on the downstream industry. 


moderator: Melissa Caouette, Principal, MC Consulting



Mat Steppan, Senior Strategy Advisor, Prairie Sky Strategy

Keith McLaughlin, Partner, New West Public Affairs

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Dessert and Networking - Exhibition Floor