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2021 AFPM Annual Meeting Virtual Edition: Annual event closes after two days of quality, impactful content and collaboration

On Tuesday, April 13, the AFPM Annual Meeting Virtual Edition wrapped up two days of valuable virtual events, sessions, shared practices and networking opportunities. Attendees and organizers maintained a focus on sustainability, collaboration, moving forward with positivity and determination despite the COVID-19 pandemic and many recent global setbacks, and “overcoming challenges with character and resilience once again,” according to AFPM President and CEO, Chet Thompson.

From Monday morning’s opening remarks by Joe Gorder, President and CEO, Valero Energy Corp., and Thompson’s President’s Report, to the last session on Tuesday afternoon, the message throughout the virtual event remained consistent.

“The last 12 months have been characterized by unprecedented challenges,” Gorder said, “but we have persevered, as our industries always do. I’m incredibly proud of how our teams responded, coming to work each day and producing the critical products for PPE and frontline supplies used in the fight against COVD-19, and supplying the fuels that enable the delivery of everything we need to sustain our lives during these trying times.”

One of Thompson’s key comments was detailing the incredible events of the past year. “It has been exactly 757 since I last had the opportunity to address this meeting,” Thompson said. “In the days since, I have seen more hardship and loss, more challenges and change than I’ve seen throughout the entirety of my lifetime. COVID-19 not only upended our lives, but it changed our concept of what ‘normal’ is.

Thompson recalled how a lockdown of the country sent the economy into a tailspin, taking the demand for the downstream industries’ products with it. “It’s been 322 days since the death of George Floyd inspired and re-invigorated a movement for racial and social justice; 226 days since Hurricane Laura ripped through the heart of Louisiana refining and petrochemical country, testing our resolve and resiliency once again; 160 days since Americans went to the polls in one of the most contentious elections in modern history; and 96 days since we witnessed rioters storm the Capitol of the U.S., forcing members of Congress and our Vice President into hiding.

“As we meet here in San Antonio, let’s not forget the polar vortex that struck Texas and other parts of the Gulf Coast just 60 days ago, paralyzing the grid and wreaking havoc on our facilities. In many ways, the people sitting in front of me and the people watching virtually have been the anchors during these ‘storms’. All along, you have shown up: essential workers keeping your essential facilities running,” he said, highlighting how the industry has adapted new protocols and processes that have kept personnel and communities safe.

A Monday morning Executive Leadership Panel provided high-level insights into the current environment and future state of the industry. The panel discussion was moderated by Chet Thompson, President and CEO, AFPM, and featured: Mike Jennings, President and CEO, HollyFrontier Corporation; Torkel Rhenman, Executive Vice President, LyondellBasell Industries; Bob Herman, Executive Vice President, Refining, Phillips 66; and Willie Chiang, Chairman and CEO, Plains All American Pipeline, LP.

Women in Industry Reception. Each year, the popular AFPM Women in Industry Reception focuses on empowering women in our industry by creating networking and training opportunities. Attendees can take advantage of opportunities to learn from industry leaders, engage and connect.

This year’s event featured Eboni Monk Adams, Director of Marketing, Advanced Refining Technologies, and author of Leading Wise: Inspirational Reflections for Corporate Leaders.

Sponsored sessions. Several top companies sponsored sessions to inform attendees of their latest products and insights. Sessions included:

  • W. R. Grace: The Future of the Most Flexible Refining Process: FCC
  • ART Hydroprocessing: Adding value with ART Hydroprocessing Catalyst Technology
  • Albemarle: Enabling sustainability: Co-processing biofuels in existing hydrotreaters
  • Nalco Water: Bringing shareholder value to the story of sustainability
  • Athlon, a Haliburton Service: Chloride salt control for refinery process streams
  • Suez – Water Technologies & Solutions: An industry in transition—Ideas to profit from being reliable, digital and sustainable
  • BASF: Navigating FCC optimization in a dynamic environment
  • Honeywell, UOP: The path forward—The refinery of the future
  • Technip Energies: Upgrading the FCC for maximum petrochemicals
  • Albemarle Corporation: Bio-feedstocks FCC co-processing: Albemarle’s experience
  • Haldor Topsoe: Advancements in vacuum gasoil hydroprocessing
  • Sabin Metal Corporation: The carbon negative

Breakout sessions. Several sessions featured key speakers, panels and industry leaders, including, “Putting refinery sustainability into perspective—A practical toolkit for understanding what can be done,” “Investor perspectives: The rise in ESG investing and what it means for the refining and petrochemical industries,” “Diversity and inclusion with Franklin Covey, Unconscious bias,” “Advocacy—Oil markets, refining and the energy transition,” “Operational excellence and culture—Digital transformation: Cultural change and work process design,” and many more.

eDailies. Hydrocarbon Processing again produced the official show daily newspapers (eDailies) and assembled informative articles from some of the top companies in the industry, including: AIS Software, AVEVA, DuPont Clean Technologies, Emerson, Honeywell UOP, KP Engineering, Nalco Water, Opportune, Pinnacle, Rajant, Refinery Automation Institute, Schneider Electric, SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions, Sulzer GTC Technology and Wood Mackenzie.  


Participating companies. Like in the past, the event drew attendees and participants from AFPM member companies that included the major players in the downstream refining and petrochemicals sectors.

Take a look at the companies that participated in the 2021 AFPM Annual Meeting Virtual Edition:  


Advanced Refining Technologies

Albemarle Corporation

ALS Industrial Services


Argo, Inc.

Athlon, A Halliburton Service

Atlantic Council

Axens North America

Babst Calland

BASF Corporation


BNY Mellon Center


Chemical Engineers

Chemical Engineering


Chevron Lummus Global LLC

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP

Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

CHS Inc.

CIRCON Environmental

CITGO Petroleum Corporation

ClearView Energy Partners

Climax Molybdenum



Countrymark Cooperative Holding Corporation


CVR Energy, Inc.

Downstream Advisors, Inc.

Dynamics Scientific Production Center USA, Inc.


Emerson Automation Solutions

Energy News Today

Eurecat U.S. Incorporated

Exxon Mobil Corporation

ExxonMobil Chemical Co.



Flint Hills Resources, LLC

Fluor Corporation


Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC

Haldor Topsoe, Inc.

Health and Safety Council

HollyFrontier Corporation

Honeywell UOP

hte GmbH

Hunt Refining Company

Hydrocarbon Processing

ICF Consulting Group, Inc.


Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

JCL Safety Services


John Beath Environmental, LLC

Johnson Matthey



Limetree Bay Refining, LLC

Loadstar Product Handling Services, LLC

Lucknow-Highspire Terminals

LyondellBasell Industries

Marathon Petroleum Corporation

Matrix Group International, Inc.

Matrix Service


Monroe Energy, LLC

Motiva Enterprises, LLC

Nalco Energy Services

Nalco Water

National Oilwell Varco/Portable Power

Neuberger Berman

Norton Engineering Consultants, Inc.

Par Petroleum LLC

PBF Energy Inc.

Phillips 66

Pilko & Associates, Inc.

Placid Refining Company

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.

RBN Energy

Refinery Operations

S&B Engineers and Constructors Ltd.

Shell Catalysts & Technologies LP


Shell Projects and Technology

Sinclair Casper Refining Company

Sinclair Oil Corporation


Solomon Associates LLC

Stancil & Co.

STARCON International Inc.

SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions

Sulzer GTC Technology US Inc.

Team Industrial Services, Inc.

TEAM, Inc.

Technip Energies Process Technology

Total Safety U.S., Inc.


TRICORD Consulting, LLC

Turner Industries Group, LLC

Turner, Mason & Company

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Valero Energy Corporation

Veolia North America

W. R. Grace & Co.

Wood Mackenzie





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