Energy meetings a natural fit

The Australian mining, energy and resources boom has seen the country attracting a greater share of association meetings business for the sector.

The country’s expertise in mining coupled with a state and federal government commitment to clean energy research and application is seeing it attract a greater number of international conferences focused on natural resources.

Western Australia (WA) is leading the charge in the energy sector, accounting for 22 per cent of the world’s iron ore output and 14 per cent of the world’s production of Alumina. It currently has 540 commercial mineral projects, 968 mines, and just under 70 operating oil and gas fields, with the value of mineral and petroleum sales for the state climbing from A$27.8 billion in 2001 to A$107 billion in 2011.

Its output in liquefied natural gas is expected to skyrocket in the next decade with 90 per cent of Australia’s LNG reserves located in three offshore basins off WA’s coast. Already Australia is the seventh largest exporter of LNG with production capacity targeted to increase from 16 million tonnes per year to 50 million tonnes per year by 2017, lifting the country’s ranking into the top two nations in total LNG export production capacity (behind Qatar).

With WA’s projected growth in LNG output, and its focus on ongoing research (led by the Energy and Minerals Institute at the University of Western Australia which supports the sustainability of the energy industry and discovery of new opportunities), it is no wonder The International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas returns to Perth for a second time. The conference, LNG 18 is scheduled for the WA capital in 2016 after successfully hosting LNG12 in 1998.

The conference was secured by the Perth Convention Bureau with assistance from the Australian Gas Industry Trust and Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.

An anticipated 4,000 senior-level LNG business leaders from more than 70 countries are expected. Of interest is that ETF, the Australian exhibition company which managed the exhibition component of LNG12, has managed the exhibition of every LNG conference globally ever since, and will be returning to Perth for LNG18.

Also returning to Perth for LNG18 will be the Australian professional conference organising company arinex, which managed LNG12.

arinex managing director, Ros McLeod, says Australia is well positioned to host more international meetings in the resources sector.

“My forecast is that LNG18 could well be the most outstanding event of the decade and at a similar level of importance to Australia as the G20 meetings. The beauty of these industries is that distance is not a major deterrent as those working in this industry are used to travel and are motivated to participate in order to network and drive sales and relationships.”

And the good news for LNG18 delegates coming from the UK is that because the meeting is being held on the west coast of Australia, flying times are reduced.

What they will likely see when they arrive in Perth, especially those who attended the 1998 event, is a rejuvenated city with a dedicated convention centre (Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre), a high level of quality hotel accommodation, and a brand new A$2.6 billion waterfront project complete with restaurants, cafes, cycleways and parkland which returns the city’s focus to the iconic Swan River.

For those delegates who choose to add on extra time for a holiday, Perth is hugged by idyllic wine regions, crystalline waters and stunning sandy beaches. The stunning pearling city of Broome is just a two-hour flight away, while Australia’s largest fringing coral reef and diving mecca, Ningaloo, is even closer.