The Arabal conference is to become a yearly event due to the growth of aluminium production in the Middle East.

Organisers of the 14th Arab International Alumium Conference told delegates the conference would take place next year in Muscat, Oman and be hosted by Sohar Aluminium.

The region is forecast to produce 10Mt/y of primary by the year 2020 from its current 4.8Mt. Organisers said changing the event from bi-yearly to yearly would reflect the growing importance of the Middle East in terms of aluminium production.

Earlier on the second and final day of the conference, delegates had heard presentations on environmental issues and technology advancement.

Day 2 papers

Harald Oye, Department of Materials Science and Engneering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, had opened the day with a paper about pot shut down, restart and repair and the courses of action to take should pot shut down occur.

As he said, this was a nightmare for anyone working in the aluminium industry, and his paper was given added resonance by the shutdown at the Qatalum site in August this year.

He said there were different types of power disturbances such as power modulation, planned and unplanned, full and partial. They can be dangerous because of the risk of CO poisoning.

He gave examples of recent power outages, such as those at Alumar in 2003 and Alubras in 2002, the steps taken to solve the problem and the effect of the outage.

His paper was followed by Rio Tinto Alcan’s Nigel Steward who discussed the company’s Low Caustic Leaching and Lime process for treating spent potlining.

It was a large challenge because a spent potline contains leachable fluorides and cyanide.

He described the company’s search for an economically viable solution that avoided 3rd party dependency. The LLCL process was developed at its Arvida, Quebec site and is a five stage process. Work is now underway to expand its end user possibilities.

Other papers included Alstom’s Anders Sorhuus delivering Cooling and Energy Recovery of Pot Gas with a New Heat Exchanger and Matthias Hagen of LTB Lufttechnik Bayreuth describing the environmental benefits of a new fume treatment system based on RTO technology.

A comprehensive report of the 14th Arab International Aluminium Conference will be published in the January/February 2011 issue of Aluminium International Today.