After a strong start in Boston and Philadelphia, the Exploring Biodiesel (XBX) Regional Seminars will head west for the final three stops of its five-city tour. The series of one-day events, designed to educate fuel wholesalers, distributors, retailers and end users on the benefits and opportunities surrounding biodiesel, will travel to Los Angeles (Aug. 7), Portland, Oregon (Aug. 9), and Cleveland, Ohio (Sept. 18) to wrap up its inaugural campaign.
Organized by the National Biodiesel Board in partnership with several industry sponsors, the XBX seminars are being offered complimentary to attendees. According to the results of an online attendee survey, the first two East Coast events, which drew roughly 100 participants each, did not disappoint, with 85 percent of respondents reporting that the seminar
exceeded their expectations. Additionally, 77 percent of survey respondents indicated that the content was “extremely valuable,” and 100 percent said that they would likely attend an annual XBX event to stay updated on the biodiesel industry, and to keep current on how changing policies, technologies and market trends are impacting their businesses.
“This is the most comprehensive biodiesel educational seminar available anywhere in the nation,” said one of the event sponsors. “If you consume, market, trade or distribute diesel fuel, this is a can’t-miss event.”
Organizers say that guests can expect to learn about biodiesel’s place in today’s liquid fuels supply chain, and how the fuel can be leveraged not only as a cleaner-burning, renewable complement to diesel fuel, but as a means to increase market share and enhance an organization’s brand. The events cover topics of both national and regional relevance in correspondence to where the event is being held. For instance, the Boston event included updates on the Massachusetts Alternative Energy Standard, ultra-low sulfur heating oil, and Bioheat fuel, while the West Coast events will examine the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California and Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. Attendees will also hear from leading industry experts on the liquid fuels supply chain, biodiesel uses and operability information; proper blending, storing and handling practices; current incentives and mandates; as well as gasoline and diesel fuel marketing trends and developments.
“Biodiesel feels like it has been around for a while, but in many ways it is still the new kid on the block,” said Troy Shoen, senior marketing manager at Renewable Energy Group, another event sponsor. “We all have a lot to learn about the many benefits of biodiesel and how to do a better job shipping it, storing it, selling it and most importantly, leveraging it to benefit the fuel supply chain, whether you are a fuel marketer, wholesaler, retailer or end user. This event will help us discuss every aspect of biodiesel so that we can come away with a better understanding of how to put it to work in a typical fuel program.”
The XBX series was intentionally designed with broad programming to target all supply chain participants, said Paul Nazzaro, NBB petroleum liaison and one of the seminar presenters.
“Our thought is that even for an end-user, there is great value in understanding upstream supply chain dynamics, and vice versa, and that there is additional value in having wholesalers, distributors, retailers and end users together in the same room to share their thoughts and perspectives concerning biodiesel. As well as being worthwhile educational events, these seminars will provide an excellent networking opportunity for attendees.”