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"Despite several handicaps…aluminium industry will remain viable and grow in Asia." The Convener and the Vice President, IBAAS Symposium
Interview18/Nov/2015AlCircle.comInternational Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium Society (IBAAS) in cooperation with China Aluminium International Engineering Corporation Limited (CHALIECO) & Suzhou Research Institute for Non-ferrous Metals Co. Ltd (SINR) have organized the 4th International IBAAS Symposium (near Shanghai, China) during November 25-27, 2015. The theme of this conference would be “The Development and Future of Aluminium Industry in China - Reality and Dream”. At this crucial juncture when issues like raw material scarcity, market oversupply, higher input cost and low metal prices are crippling the global aluminium industry, the conference is expected to open up an apt forum for discussions on innovative ideas, technical solutions and probable changes in market dynamics. AlCircle spoke to Dr. Ashok Nandi, the Convener and Mr. H. Mahadevan, the Vice President for IBAAS Conference and discussed a few queries regarding the conference.
Excerpts from the interview:
AlCircle: Tell us something about the theme of IBAAS 2015 Symposium.
Dr. Nandi & Mr. Mahadevan: Despite low alumina-aluminium prices, there are new developments in China and the whole world is interested in understanding the economics of production and future strategy of this country. Domestic Aluminium industries of many countries are being threatened by cheap imports. Without substantial bauxite resources, China is able to produce more than 50 million tons of alumina per annum, which is highest in the world. As China’s demand for raw materials is expected to grow, many new bauxite projects are being developed in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, India, Malaysia and other countries.
With the present glut of aluminium in the market, a number of alumina and aluminium smelting facilities are being closed down and industry is restructuring to survive in the difficult times. Technological innovations and value addition may be the answer; however, industry has no surplus funds for these and many of them are running in losses. Despite several handicaps, aluminium industry will remain viable and grow in Asia, thanks to availability of efficient technology and comparatively cheaper equipment and skilled manpower. Keeping this in view, the 4th International event of International Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium Society is being organized here in China to discuss the status of worldwide aluminium industry and reality and dreams of China.
AlCircle: IBAAS is again shifting base to China? So, are we going to see more Asia specific paper presentations or is IBAAS going to host a global congregation?
Dr. Nandi & Mr. Mahadevan: As the economies of Brazil, Russia & India are expected to grow at a dramatic pace, the success story of the Chinese model may be a good path for the development in these Countries also. Since we are hosting the symposium in China it is natural that a good number of papers are from China- highlighting the fact that the country which produces maximum alumina and aluminium metal in the world also carries out ample research to improve productivity and reduce cost of production, besides ensuring resource security.
IBAAS had a modest beginning in 2012 and organized the first International event in Nagpur, India on Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium Industry of Asia – Vision 2020. This was followed by 2 highly successful International events in Nanning, China in 2013 and Visakhapatnam India in 2014 on various aspects of aluminium industry. IBAAS was keeping a tab on developments of bauxite-alumina industry in other countries of Asia such as Vietnam and Indonesia, however, keeping in worldwide interest in Chinese aluminium industry, the 4th International event is being organized in Suzhou. The organizers of IBAAS are flexible and select different venues in Asia each year to make the event interesting for delegates. China being the present leader and India aspiring to be an upcoming power in the development of aluminium industry in Asia, our present attention is focused around locations in these countries.
AlCircle: The global aluminium industry, especially USA is abuzz with the issue of cheap Chinese export. Do you think it is going to affect the relevance of the conference topic?
Dr. Nandi & Mr. Mahadevan: It is not only US but all countries are facing issues with the present downturn in the commodity cycle clubbed with the increasing capacity in Chinese aluminium Smelters. Because of the demand supply imbalance along with down turn of the commodity prices, this cheap imports of aluminium is threatening the industry not only in USA but also in India. We expect this sentiment to surface also in the Symposium which will actually open up more avenues for discussions in the forum.
AlCircle: What kind of presentation topics can we expect to explore in the conference? Will there be more technical papers or are you going to cover the market?
Dr. Nandi & Mr. Mahadevan: There is a good mix of technical, marketing and general papers on Aluminium Industry. There are papers from CRU, SRK, China Non-Ferrous Metals Association, Prima Resources, CM Group, VEDANTA, JNARDDC and a number of leading consultants and scores of Chinese companies. About 45 presentations on various aspects of bauxite, alumina and aluminium industry will be presented in 3 days conference and provide excellent opportunity to network with aluminium industry people.
AlCircle: Are you going to cover only the upstream sector or include the downstream sector as well?
Dr. Nandi & Mr. Mahadevan: We are having a fair representation from all segments of the Industry covering bauxite, alumina, aluminium and downstream. As Suzhou Institute of Non-ferrous Metals (SINR) is the main host, there is a good number of papers on aluminium downstream section. Apart from alumina and aluminium industry representatives, several bauxite mine owners/ producers from Turkey, Malaysia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, China and India are also participating in this symposium.
AlCircle: Thank you very much for sharing the information with AlCircle. We wish you the best for the upcoming IBAAS Symposium.
Disclaimer: “The information presented herein is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice. The views and opinions shared in the interview section of www.alcircle.com are unique to the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of www.alcircle.com.”
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