With a ribbon cutting by ethanol industry representatives from the United States and Russia, the 2008 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop officially opened Monday evening in Nashville.
Mike Bryan, CEO of BBI International, kicked off the event by introducing Ron Fagen of Fagen, Inc. and Alexander Machikhin of JSC Tambovskiy Plant in Russia. Machikhin, who is also president of the Russian Biofuels Association, invited participants to visit the International Networking Pavilion at the trade show, which features 32 different countries with an interest in biofuels. “Next year for your 25th anniversary, hopefully you will all be here, and probably another couple thousand people will come,” Machikhin said.
Fagen delivered a very brief message to the crowd waiting to enter the huge trade show featuring more than 600 exhibitors, “All I can say gang is, hang in there, we will survive,” Fagen said, alluding to the storm of negative media reports the industry has been facing this year.
Despite that, there are thousands of people at the conference from all over the world and they remain optimistic about the future of the biofuels industry, both domestically and globally.
Watch the opening ceremony here: