Seminar on Smelting Technologies in GCC

The seminar concluded as a success in transferring knowledge from eminent experts to an industry and academic audience.

The seminar concluded as a success in transferring knowledge from eminent experts to an industry and academic audience. This transfer of information furthers Qatalum and Hydro’s attempts to build a strong aluminium knowledge hub in Qatar, much to the appreciation of Qatar University.

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In between the 26th to 28th of May 2015, a seminar on “Research and Advances in Smelting Technologies in GCC” was organized at QSTP Doha. The presenters for this seminar were eminent researchers and R and D managers. For several years, Hydro QSTP had organized outstanding seminars and symposium in the downstream sector of the aluminium Industry. Qatar and the GCC are a major hub of global aluminium production accounting for over 10% of global production.

Dr Chris Devadas who leads the Hydro Technology Centre at QSTP welcomed the delegates to this seminar and highlighted the achievements of Qatalum/Hydro in establishing a precursor to the centre of excellence for aluminium in Qatar. Dr Devadas said, “After 2 years of having the Qatalum/Hydro chair located in the Centre for Advanced Materials at Qatar University (CAM/QU), it was very gratifying to note that there were several high calibre local speakers from Qatalum, Qatar University, the GCC and further afield at this seminar. The event was truly international with speakers from Japan, Iceland, Norway and GCC, demonstrating the importance of the ME aluminium production.”  Mr. Saeed Al-Marri, Logistics manager at Qatalum welcomed the delegates on behalf of Qatalum.

Professor Mariam Al-Maadeed, director of Centre of Advanced Materials delivered the keynote address. She spoke about the great strides CAM/QU has made to meet the need for materials technologists, especially aluminium specialists in Qatar. Additionally she praised the interaction and collaboration between the University and Industry, the advances in research and the build-up of resource competence at CAM.

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Ben Benkahla, Qatalum Potline Process Manager presents at the Seminar

The second day of the seminar covered topics such as: Reduction cell process management, anodes, raw materials used in the smelters, emissions, EGA’s DX+ technologies, alumina management in a smelter, effect of impurities on current efficiency, and SPL and 2nd generation pot start-up in Qatalum. In a mainly aluminium seminar there was also a presentation by Japanese researchers on titanium, itself an advanced material.

The total number of delegates that attend this seminar was 63, and represented global participation. The salient feature of this seminar was that the majority of industrial attendees were from GCC smelters, representing Qatalum, Alba and EGA along with University students and researchers.

508 - RL_4423 copy.jpgAudience as the Seminar

Professor Geir Martin Haarberg, Qatalum/Hydro chair at CAM and a world-renowned expert on electrowinning of metals from molten salts was one of the key organizers of this seminar. Professor Martin was extremely pleased with the quality of presentations and the depth of the technical discussions in the seminar. In Geir Martins concluding remarks, he mentioned, “The seminar was an excellent showcase for university and industry collaboration, furthermore, this was the first GCC aluminium smelting symposium and a very successful one, and hopefully we will see more of the same in another GCC country next year.”

On 26th May, a plant tour of Qatalum was organized for overseas visitors. The visitors were very impressed with the plant and the open attitude of Qatalum. The reduction, laboratory, cast house and anode carbon plant facilities were visited after a brief introduction by Reduction Manager Hans Petter Lange.