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The 2015 ICSOBA conference in Dubai - Overview
The International Committee for Study of Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium (ICSOBA) and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) collaboratively hosted the 33rd ICSOBA Conference and Exhibition in Dubai from 29 November to 1 December 2015. Formed in 1963, ICSOBA's main objective is to promote the exchange of ideas and findings from the various fields of research and practice related to bauxite exploration and mining as well as alumina and aluminium production. Previous conferences took place in Goa - 2011, Belem - 2012, Krasnoyarsk - 2013 and in Zhengzhou in 2014. With this year conference in Dubai they all mark ICSOBA’s recent stops on its global mission. ICSOBA 2015 marks the first time that the event has taken place in the UAE. ICSOBA has never been to this part of the world before; therefore, the Dubai conference was of historic importance in a year which marks the 52nd anniversary of the association.
The conference featured a number of international industry speakers who covered topics including bauxite and bauxite resources; alumina production and residue solutions; primary aluminium production; carbon and carbon materials and; aluminium products and alloys. Altogether 230 delegates from 38 countries congregated in Dubai. Michel Reverdy (Senior Manager: Technology Transfer, Technology Development & Transfer at EGA) has played a key role in coordinating the papers and proceedings (TRAVAUX) for the event. Dr Ali Al Zarouni (SVP Jebel Ali Operations, Technology Development & Transfer at EGA), and the 2015 President of ICSOBA, has delivered the welcome note. Commenting on the importance of supporting industry events such as ICSOBA, Dr Al Zarouni said, "As a business, EGA believes strongly in the power of knowledge-sharing. We also believe in supporting progress in the industry by participating in forums like ICSOBA, where we can not only showcase our own developments but also learn from other players. Indeed, the exchange of ideas and the results of work from the various fields of research in bauxite exploration and mining as well as alumina and alumina production, are fundamental to the sustainability of all sectors of the aluminium industry. ICSOBA 2015 was extremely successful in this regard and we are pleased to have co-hosted its début event in the UAE."
As co-host of ICSOBA 2015, EGA conducted tours for conference delegates of its UAE smelter sites - namely Emirates Aluminium (EMAL in Taweelah) and Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL in Jebel Ali). In addition, 30 delegates attended a detailed tour of EMAL's Phase II carbon facilities and EMAL Potline 3. EMAL and DUBAL (EGA) were the host sponsors and other sponsors of this event included STC Engineering – REMI, Cytec, WEIR Minerals, FELUWA and NALCO.
The event closed with an EGA-hosted gala dinner, where the best papers from the conference were announced for the best paper award. The awards are dedicated to recognizing outstanding papers across the entire program. Four subjects were considered: bauxite, alumina, carbon and electrolysis. The subject organizers of each stream: Roberto Seno Jr (bauxite), Steve Healy (alumina), Mathieu Arlettaz (carbon) and Vinko Potocnik – Viktor Buzunov (electrolysis) made their selections. The awarded papers are:
1. Thomas Baumann for his paper: “AKW Apparate + Verfahren GmbH and its expertise in bauxite upgrading”
2. Roberto Seno Jr, Caio van Deursen, Rodrigo Moreno and Thiago Franco for their paper: “Votorantim Metais/CBA Bauxite Residue: Challenges and Solutions”
3. Tapan K. Sahu, Saleh A. Rabbaa, Amer Al Marzooki, Muhammad S. Malik, Bienvenue Ndjom, Pragasan Palavar and Esam Mohamed for their paper: “Strategy for sustaining anode quality amidst deteriorating coke quality”
4. Benedicte Allard, Arvind Kumar and Mohamed Tawfik for their paper: “Performances of green and eco-friendly ramming pastes in EGA pots”
5. Asbjørn Solheim, Henrik Gudbrandsen, Karen Sende Osen and Jannicke Kvello for their paper: “Current efficiency in laboratory aluminium cells”.
Also during the gala dinner, three ICSOBA medals displaying portraits of industry pioneers Paul Héroult, Charles Martin Hall and Karl Josef Bayer were presented. The first medal was awarded to Dr Ali Al Zarouni in recognition of his work as the 2015 ICSOBA president, which includes welcoming ICSOBA in Dubai, facilitating the organization of the highly successful conference, and seeing to ICSOBA’s prosperity and growth.
The second medal was awarded to Michel Reverdy, ICSOBA-2015 Program Organizer, for his work on the Board of Directors and for outstanding contribution to organization of the 2015 ICSOBA conference.
The third medal was awarded to Dr Vinko Potocnik for his lifetime achievements as an accomplished scientist and educator in the field of aluminium electrolysis, and for his outstanding contribution to the organization of the 2015 ICSOBA conference.
Since 2013 two medals are given each year to the visited plants as tokens of appreciation for hosting ICSOBA delegates. This year the medals were awarded to Dubai Smelter and to EMAL smelter.