In the primary aluminium industry, carbon ranks as a major raw material. Not only is carbon used as the cathode-lining of the electrolytic reduction cells in which aluminium is extracted from alumina, but it’s also the basis for the anodes suspended in the electrolytic solution. Importantly, the anodes used in aluminium smelters, alone account for 25 to 30 per cent of production costs per tonne such that anode quality a function of raw material quality can impact substantially on the profitability of the smelter operation, as well as the environment. Efficient use of anode in the reduction cell is thus of vital importance to the industry.
These factors underscore the rationale for the Gulf Aluminium Council GAC Carbon Conference, which will take place in Dubai from 2 to 5 September 2012 and has been arranged for GAC members only. The agenda will focus on the quality of raw materials used (especially in terms of impurities and sulphur content), the anode production process and the performance of the anodes in the cells.
For Dubai Aluminium DUBAL, the entirely state-owned corporation that operates the largest smelter in the Gulf region and the world’s largest single-site smelter using pre-baked anode technology, the GAC Carbon Conference offers an opportunity to demonstrate its leadership position in the local, regional and international aluminium industry. A two-pronged approach has been adopted: DUBAL’s Saleh Ahmed Rabba (General Manager: Reduction Materials) is included in the line-up of speakers and will use the opportunity to share best practice; and the company will host a dinner for the delegates on 3 September 2012.
A coordinating body that represents, promotes and protects the interests of the aluminium industry within the Gulf, the GAC’s main objectives are to provide a forum to develop strategies for common issues and concerns facing the aluminium industry in the region, and to share best practices so as to improve the efficiency of the industry. The 2012 GAC Carbon Conference is a classic example of such a forum.
The GAC was officially launched in 2010. The council’s membership comprises all of the primary aluminium smelters in the region as well as several downstream businesses.