In the opening keynote session Hydro CEO Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, Novelis president Phil Martens and an Alcoa vice president Bernt Reitan all identified the environment as both a threat and an opportunity for the industry in the future.

Mr Reitan, Alcoa vice president and president of global primary products, told delegates at the event in Oslo, Norway about the ‘megatrends’ affecting the earth.

These are urbanisation, population growth and climate change. Regarding urbanisation, he stated that in 2007 more than half the people on the planet lived in cities. In China, people in the countryside have migrated to the cities.

Mr Reitan said that as the population becomes more urban, people’s living standards rise. They will use more aluminium by buying more cars and electrical appliances.

Later in the event a panel of experts, including CRU’s principal consultant Marco Georgiou and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch metals strategist Michael Widmer, discussed the aluminium market and price outlook.