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The Chairman of MEPEC 2011 Technical Committee, Dr Halim Hamid Redhwi, spoke to Oil Review about future plans for the Middle East’s first process engineering event and the events main objectives.

Oil Review:Although this is the inaugural MEPEC, the quality of the papers submitted for the technical conference is very impressive. Have you been surprised at the response you have received?
Dr. Redhwi: I was not at all surprised by the response as the subject, themes, and target companies for abstract submission were very audaciously selected and the resultant is the number of quality abstract submitted that are still pouring. The reason of this overwhelming response is that the abstract invitees realized the significance of this timely conference. Credit also goes to the distinguished members of the organizing committee that is very responsive and very professional in organizing the conference. The abstract were received from different segments of the process engineering family that includes technology providers, users, and developers.

Oil Review: What are the main objectives of the technical programme?
Dr. Redhwi: The main objective of technical program is to bring together global process technology providers to expose the emerging technologies and at the same time to provide a forum for technology users to present the technological issues faced by them. The technical program is designed to provide a platform that provides far reaching technical and financial benefits to all parties (technology providers, users and academicians) and create a win-win situation.

Oil Review: Will MEPEC become an annual event?
Dr. Redhwi: MEPEC is planned as a biannual event with an objective to bring together the process engineering community anxious to share knowledge with each other.

Oil Review: Do you plan to rotate the event around the region in future for maximum exposure?
Dr. Redhwi: Of course, the event is for the Middle Eastern region that is one of the major growing hub in process engineering industries and rotating the event around the region is planned. The abstracts submitted are from the Middle Eastern region indicate the great interest in Process Engineering.

Oil Review: What are the main challenges faced by the regional process industry?
Dr. Redhwi: Regional process engineering industry is embarking on huge projects that include SATORP (Saudi Aramco-TOTAL JV), Sadra (Saudi Aramco-Dow JV), and others. The challenges include the technologies needed to upgrade the existing process industries and introduction of new technologies in upcoming plants. This is tough time for arranging finances coupled with high cost environmentally friendly technologies that are efficient and profitable. To be profitable, environmentally friendly, and efficient are the main challenges faced by the regional process industry.

Oil Review: Why was Bahrain chosen for the inaugural event?
Dr. Redhwi: Bahrain provides an excellent location presenting rich GCC culture blended with a very friendly location for global gathering. The huge existing and upcoming process industries are in a maximum of an hour flight from Bahrain. The support received from the Government of Bahrain facilitated the organization of the conference.