Clarence Woo is the Executive Director of Asian Clean Fuels Association.
Q1. How do you feel that Asia’s biofuels market has evolved over the last 12 months?
Biofuels was a hot subject ten years ago, and in some cases, such as in Japan, India and Thailand, still a major focus. However, in many other cases, many projects have not taken off, or failed. That is not to say that the governments have not been effective, or supportive, but there were many overriding issues or constraints, and even new developments (such as other alternative fuels/energy like the EV, hybrids, low-cost solar) that have appeared in the legislators’ radar screens.
Q2. What do you see as the single biggest challenge facing Asia’s refining sector today?
I don’t see biofuels impacting the Asian refining sector to a large extent, except for Japan and Thailand, for example. What the Asian refining sector faces now and in the future years in more ominous: a constant margin reduction, need for upgrades to meet higher fuel quality standards, efficient management of types of crude slates, new regulations on marine and jet fuel, changes to diesel market share due to dieselgate, and, in the longer term, the advent of more cost-effective EVs and hybrids entering the automotive market, reducing the demand for automotive fuels.
Q3. What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Asia’s biofuels market in the next 12 months?
Biofuels will continue to see a role in Asia, albeit not as it was envisaged a decade ago. Neste’s renewable diesel is a high quality HVO advanced fuel that can used in both diesel and jet engines. New 2nd/3rd generation biofuels will play important roles as these are more acceptable to environmental green groups. China and Japan are governments that have officially included them into their energy mix, provided that the technologies can become commercially viable in time.
Q4. Why do you think events such as ARTC are important? What do you find most beneficial about attending?
ARTC is an established platform by which the refining industry can come together to learn more about developments and technologies that can improve the industry’s competitiveness, not just within the industry, but more importantly, being prepared against global changes that could drive a complete overhaul of how we operate.
We facilitate knowledge sharing and nurturing of business partnerships within the oil and gas sector. We do so by providing face-to-face opportunities to network including conferences, exhibitions and networking evenings; independent analysis and creation of industry reports and webinars. We create events that matter.
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