The conference technical program started on Monday, 16 September, and finished on Thursday, 19 September. On 20 September delegates had the option of visiting a full day technical excursion to Rusal’s Achinsk refinery where nepheline ore is used as raw material instead of bauxite, or to Rusal’s newest Khakas smelter, or participate in a visit to Krasnoyarsk smelter, the largest Söderberg smelter in the world.
“The plenary sessions were well balanced and had speakers representing all sectors of the production chain and all corners of the world (CIS, Europe, India, Midlle East, China, Canada),” commented Linus Perander. “Several of the key note talks dealt with some of the challenges the industry has been, is and will be facing, as well as some great initiatives and success stories on how some of the challenges are being met. Although the market outlook (as presented by Martin Jackson of CRU) is still a bit cautious, the overall message from the key notes was quite positive, at least in terms of cooperation, sharing knowledge and best practices to meet the future challenges and demands.”
The Outotec team appreciated the alumina technical program with its high-quality papers, great attendance and lively discussions. More than 120 participants from 20 countries took part in the Alumina Section, including 37 companies from 16 countries presented papers, a total number of published and presented papers in the topics – bauxite, alumina and bauxite residue processing, was 55.
“As always, the presentations were of excellent standard, with simultaneous translation (Russian/English). ICSOBA has done very well in terms of maintaining a high technical standard of both papers and presentations, so a lot of kudos to the organizers and reviewers for that,” said Linus Perander.
Some of the highlights included the session on alternative processes and production of high purity alumina. The Altech process to produce high purity alumina from Kaolin clay is very close to reaching commercialization with commissioning of the production plant in Malaysia imminent.
The aluminium technical program was arranged in two sessions, Carbon and Aluminium, all in all with some 44 papers. The program featured presentations by some of the leading names in the industry, including ALBA that presented the successful startup of Potline 6. The aluminium papers upheld a high technical standard and provided a lot of fundamental insights.
“It was also good to see such a high level of international participation despite the remote location,” added Dr. Perander. “Most of our customers were represented in Krasnoyarsk and some new connections were established. There were ample networking opportunities provided as the conference program featured several social events.”