Maritime, Transportation & Petrochemical Leaders Discuss Impact on Area Economy

DEER PARK, Texas, Sept. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 650 participants are expected to hear experts in the maritime, petrochemical and transportation and logistics industries share information on planned expansion and challenges facing the region during unprecedented economic growth. The Economic Alliance Houston Port Region's 5th Annual Petrochemical and Maritime Outlook Conference (PMOC) will be held Thursday, Sept. 4 at the Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas, 77507.

Industry leaders will address Panama Canal expansion, Port of Houston capital projects and over $35 billion in petrochemical expansion in the Houston Ship Channel region. This activity has been termed "an energy renaissance" sparked by abundant, accessible and affordable natural gas. The experts are signaling the renaissance as a potential "game changer" for transportation, logistics and employment in the maritime, refining and chemical industries. Speakers and panels will provide insights and answer questions.

The economic outlook conference features five keynote addresses. Port of Houston Authority Chairman, Janiece Longoria, will deliver a morning keynote highlighting Port of Houston Authority activity. Panama Canal Authority Executive VP of Planning, Silvia deMarucci, will deliver a luncheon keynote updating the audience on Panama Canal lock expansion progress and the expected impact on the Port of Houston.

Shell Oil Executive VP of Global Manufacturing, Lori Ryerkerk, will present an afternoon keynote outlining global manufacturing and its impact on this region. U.S. Senator, John Cornyn, of Texas and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) chairman, Dr. Bryan W. Shaw, will discuss the regulatory environment and other challenges facing the energy industry renaissance in the U.S.

A petrochemical panel will provide insights into chemical plant growth and how infrastructure and skilled employees are critical needs. Participants on that panel include Hector Rivero, president of Texas Chemical Council; Todd Monette, site manager, Houston Refining for LyondellBasell; Jim Griffin, director of global marketing for Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings; and Steve Skarke, executive vice president of Kaneka North America. Monette also chairs the East Harris County Manufacturers Association, a 130-member trade group for ship channel industry.

A transportation and logistics panel will provide details on moving products in and out of an expanding region. Participants on that panel include Lawrence Waldron, global account director for Vopak; Tom Marian, general counsel and administrative manager for Buffalo Marine Services; Jeff Norwood, general manager of Port Terminal Railroad; and Matt Woodruff, government affairs director for Kirby Corp.

What: Hear presentations, ask questions & meet with petrochemical, maritime & logistics industry leaders. Hear & discuss challenges, such as infrastructure and skilled workforce needs.

Where: Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas, 77507

When: Thursday, September 4, 2014, 8 a.m until 3 p.m.

Who: Approximate Times of Keynote Addresses:

8:00 – 8:20 Opening Activities, Welcome & Pledge of Allegiance
8:20 – 8:45 Opening Comments by Congressmen Gene Green & Randy Weber
9:00 – 9:25 Morning Keynote: Port of Houston, Janiece Longoria, Chairman
9:30 – 9:45 Morning Keynote: U.S. Senator John Cornyn
9:50 – 10:20 Morning Keynote: TCEQ, Dr. Bryan W. Shaw, Chairman
10:40 – 11:30 Petrochemical Panel
12:00 – 12:45 Luncheon Keynote: Panama Canal Authority, Silvia deMarucci, EVP Planning
1:00 – 1:50 Transportation & Logistics Panel
2:15 – 3:00 Afternoon Keynote: Shell Oil, Lori Ryerkerk, EVP Global Manufacturing

Complete speaker biographies at:

Interview Opportunities:

Interview opportunities are available with many speakers prior to and following presentations.

About the Port of Houston Authority [Conference Presenting Sponsor]

For nearly 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned/operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation's largest port in terms of foreign waterborne tonnage. The port has historically been an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. The port contributes to the creation of more than one million statewide and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs and the generation of more than $178.5 billion of statewide and $499 billion of nationwide economic activity.

About the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region

The Economic Alliance Houston Port Region, a non-profit organization created in 1985, provides professional economic development services on behalf of 16 communities surrounding the 25-mile Houston Ship Channel - home to one of the world's most influential energy corridor and trade ports. Since 2008, the Economic Alliance has supported more than 40 successful projects that has facilitated business activities creating more than 4,400 new jobs and more than $5.5 billion of capital investment to the Houston Port Region.

CONTACT: Michelle Hundley, Economic Alliance, 281 476-9176 x3; Dennis Winkler, Winkler Public Relations, 713 259-0195; Bill Hensel, Manager of Corporate Communications, 713 670-2893, (cell) 832-452-5776,

Source:Port of Houston Authority;Economic Alliance Houston Port Region