-- Winners from Seven Countries and Three Continents Lauded at 16th Annual Event
-- "Lifetime Achievement" Honors: EPEX SPOT'S Conil-Lacoste & Reilly, formerly of U.S. EPA
-- Puma Energy's Zavala and India's OMC Power Take "Rising Star" Awards
NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- American coal giant Peabody Energy Corporation walked away with "CEO of the Year" and "Energy Company of the Year," two of 18 honors bestowed Thursday at the 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards, an annual program now in its 16th year recognizing exemplary leadership, innovation, stewardship and performance. Peabody's dual win reflected its global leadership and growth and was deemed by program judges to be "best in class."
Winners comprising individuals and companies from seven countries and three continents were lauded at the black-tie gala at the Waldorf Astoria in midtown Manhattan attended by nearly 500 energy executives and emceed by CNBC television anchor Amanda Drury.
"Tonight's Platts Global Energy Awards winners have demonstrated that forging partnerships, developing technologies and thinking outside the box are central to meeting the challenges of geopolitical tensions, price volatility, changing trade flows and ever-evolving environmental considerations and climate change agendas," said Larry Neal, host of the Awards program and president of Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.
"We congratulate Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Boyce for his personal and corporate achievement," said Neal. "Not only did Boyce oversee the company's sustainability innovations and stewardship that put Peabody at the top of the judges' list for this year's "Energy Company" of 2014, but he has helped steer the multinational to several Global Energy Awards over the years."
In its selection of "CEO of the Year," the Awards' independent judges' panel credited Boyce's leadership since 2003 for such achievements as triple-digit revenue growth and expansion to nearly a dozen international offices. In particular, judges pointed to Peabody's Australia mining and domestic and export market operations that helped propel it to a leading position in the Asia-Pacific region. Judges were particularly impressed by the company's 2013 productivity gains of 9% and 27%, respectively, in the U.S. and Australia.
For "Energy Company of the Year," which was chosen from the entire list of finalist companies, judges looked for all-around excellence in execution of a total energy strategy, breadth of portfolio, innovation, environmental conservation and commitment to sustainability. Judges were impressed by Boyce's adaptive, forward-focused strategy, as well as Peabody's demonstrated safety and environmental record amid rapid geographic diversification and aggressive financial achievements.
Innovation was a common trait among winners of the highly coveted "Lifetime Achievement" and "Rising Star" awards, which were also in the strategic vision category, along with "CEO of the Year," "Energy Company of the Year" and "Deal of the Year" awards.
For the 2014 "Lifetime Achievement" recognition, judges settled on two individuals from a list of seven finalists:
- Jean-François Conil-Lacoste, chairman of the management board of the European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT - a Paris-based European day-ahead and intra-day power exchange network - was lauded for his career-long pursuit of developing a reliable and transparent pan-European power market. After a decade of commodity trading, Conil-Lacoste took leadership positions at Euronext and Powernext exchanges before launching a system for connecting neighboring power markets, known as market coupling, in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, U.K. and the Iberian Peninsula. Judges described Conil-Lacoste's harmonization of the European market, which led to the creation of EPEX in 2008, as an industry-changing development.
- William K. Reilly, former administrator of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was honored for an "impressive" career in conservation and environmental policy development, with judges noting Reilly is "respected by environmental advocates and energy industry insiders alike." The Decatur, Illinois, native is credited with a series of EPA "firsts" during his tenure from 1989-1993, including acid rain amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990. More recently, Reilly co-chaired President Obama's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and is currently chairman emeritus at the World Wildlife Fund and Climate Works Foundation.
Individual excellence was also recognized in the "Rising Star – Individual" category, where Puma Energy's chief operating officer (COO) for the Americas region was honored. Rodrigo Adolfo Zavala won judges' attention for rapid expansion of Puma's service stations in Latin America within the first eight months of his COO appointment in March 2014. He also led the company's entry into the aviation sector. Despite Zavala's impressive 20-year career, judges believe his corporate and industry contributions are only beginning. The Singapore-based, mid- and downstream oil company Puma Energy a year ago won the 2013 Global Energy Awards title of "Industry Leadership – Midstream."
"Rising Star – Company" honors went to India's OMC Power for meeting customers' needs despite a local dearth of infrastructure and for its creative approach to providing power to telecommunications companies in remote locations. Established in 2011, the Delhi-based renewable energy service company builds and operates micropower plants, providing small-scale energy with local generation and distribution in rural areas in India that are beyond the electricity grid's reach.
Another power company in the winners' lineup: Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams, a leading North American natural gas and oil infrastructure company. Snagging 2014 "Deal of the Year," Williams won judges' praise for its $6 billion acquisition of gathering and processing company Access Midstream Partners. The deal – executed in a deliberate, two-phase transaction – propelled Williams' stock to an all-time high and earned the company accolades as one of the 10 best-performing S&P 500 stocks in the first eight months of 2014.
In addition to the aforementioned strategic vision category winners, the following companies took 2014 Platts Global Energy Award titles in recognition of industry leadership, stewardship, premier projects, and leading technologies:
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC
Exploration & Production
Royal Dutch Shell plc
50Hertz Transmission GmbH
Nord Stream AG
Efficiency Initiative – Energy Supplier
National Grid plc
Efficiency Initiative – Commercial End-User
Corporate Social Responsibility
Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited
Spectra Energy Corp
Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd.
Primus Green Energy
For greater detail of the winners (http://geaweb.platts.com/Winners/Winners2014), awards and judges' rationale, access the December 2014 Platts Insight article, available via the Platts Global Energy Awards website and the media kit (www.platts.com/media-kits/mediagea2014).
Preceding the Awards program was the eighth annual Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum, "Transition and Transformation," which gathered energy and finance executives and government and academia representatives for debate and discussions of key energy sector challenges. Vitol Group President and CEO Ian Taylor keynoted the Forum, which was attended by approximately 200 energy industry executives. At the Forum lunch, a select group of 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards finalists, those from the awards categories of "Deal of the Year" and "Industry Leadership –Midstream," received Awards of Excellence for contributions to the energy industry.
The 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards principle sponsor was Oracle Primavera, a provider of enterprise project portfolio management solutions. Additional sponsors for the reception, entertainment, celebration and tables included: GlobalView, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Breitling Energy Corporation,Deloitte LLP, Noble Americas Energy Solutions, as well as Siemens and Continental Resources, Inc. Neither Platts nor sponsors played any role in the selection of Awards winners.
Next year's Platts Global Energy Awards will be held on December 9, 2015, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
Platts will hold a related Awards event, the Platts Global Metals Awards, which will be in its third year, on May 21, 2015, in London.
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