Industry Info

Boost to growth prospects of Qatar in aluminium industry

Qatar’s immense growth prospects in the aluminium industry have got a fillip with yesterday’s announcement of two positions of Qatalum/Hydro Chair at Qatar University’s Centre for Advanced Materials (CAM).

Professor Hans Roven and Professor Geir Martin Haarberg from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology will work towards expanding knowledge, research and innovation with aluminium alloys and processes in Qatar.

The objective is to help position Qatar as a core knowledge centre for aluminium technology in the Middle East.
“We will be launching a Master’s programme in this connection with an initial intake of eight students,” Dr Mariam A al-Maadeed, director of CAM, told Gulf Times yesterday.

By playing a leading role at an educational level, Qatalum hopes to encourage students to take up careers in the aluminium industry, said Khalid Mohamed Sultan Larem, deputy CEO of Qatalum.

Asserting that Qatalum maintains a strong commitment to the educational sector, the official said the company is more than willing to discuss further opportunities for research and development.

Qatalum has had great success supporting student research and internship programmes over
the years, allowing for hands- on experience at the smelter, Larem recalled.

One of the largest producers of aluminium in the Middle East, Qatalum has already built a strong relationship with CAM to promote research and graduate studies, building a stronger competence cluster in Qatar.

“Qatalum believes there is more value to be gained in promoting aluminium as a material of choice in the building-construction sector, structural and transportation sector, automotive sector and marine applications,” Larem said.

Furthering the industrial application and usage of aluminium will create more opportunities and jobs in Qatar and the GCC, he added.

“Close co-operation with universities in several countries is at the core of Hydro’s strategy to educate and train future material technologists,” observed Dr Chris Devadas, head of Hydro Technology Centre Qatar.

Established in 2009, the Hydro Technology Centre at Qatar Science & Technology Park aims to improve safety and productiveness of the Qatalum smelter through both technology development and training, in close co-operation with Qatar University. Projects in scope include hot-climate working conditions, environmental issues, logistics and aluminium competence development in the Gulf region oriented towards downstream activities.

“We believe that a fundamental success criterion for the sustainable development of downstream process industries is predicated on co-operation between industries and universities,” Dr Devadas said.

Qatalum produces over 600,000tonnes of high-quality primary aluminium products per annum. Norway-based Hydro is a global aluminium company with activities in more than 50 countries on all continents.

Source: The Gulf Times