Cemtech Dubai 2011

Following its relocation from Cairo due to the February revolution, Cemtech Middle East & Africa successfully took place in Dubai (UAE) over 5-8th March 2011. The events in Egypt took everyone by surprise, and as protesters amassed in Tahrir Square, just seconds from Cemtech’s chosen venue in Cairo, it was clear that this annual meeting would not be able to take place as planned. The decision was therefore made to relocate the conference to Dubai, where Cemtech has held several events in recent years.

Conference proceedings were opened by His Excellency Sheikh Yasir Bin Ahmed Bin Humaid Al Qassimi – General Manager of Union Cement Company (UCC) and Chairman of the UAE Cement Producers’ Association and attracted some 200 senior delegates from over 45 individual cement companies and 30 countries. Though smaller than the planned event in Cairo, the event was a great success and provided the ultimate meeting place for cement professionals from across the region.

A wide-ranging presentation programme showcased the latest manufacturing technologies alongside detailed analysis of the global cement industry and key markets from across the Middle East and Africa. Highlights included a review and analysis of the GCC cement markets by Hettish Karmani, Global Investment House (Kuwait) and a review of the global cement industry by Ankur Agarwal of Nomura International (Dubai). Given the recent events in Egypt, the presentation by Ahmed Hussein of Cairo Investment Holding (Egypt) was keenly anticipated and provided an upbeat assessment of this country’s recent performance and future expectations.

Cemtech was pleased to welcome back Giorgio Bodo, CEO of ASEC Cement (Egypt) who gave a fascinating review of the successful launch of the new 1.5Mta Al Takamol cement plant in Sudan, while Paolo Bossi, Managing Director of Sinai White Cement updated delegates on the advances in state-of-the-art white cement production.

Other experts were on hand to share their knowledge, including Luc Rudowski of Polysius (France) who led delegates through an impressive whistle-stop tour of many of the production lines installed by the company throughout Africa and the Middle East, while Ferdinand Pecson of NLSupervision (Egypt) revealed how to successfully outsource plant operations and maintenance and still achieve world-class performance.

An extended programme included a technical workshop led by Dr Michael Clark, technical consultant of International Cement Review whose online training courses, provided by CemNet e-Learning, have helped transform access to high-quality technical expertise in recent years. This workshop examined strategies to lower CO2 throughout the cement production process, both in the production of clinker and Portland cements.

The meeting concluded with a visit to Union Cement Company located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the country’s hub of cement production. The tour allowed delegates to assess operations at UAE’s largest plant, including its 10,000tpd kiln line which was built by Sinoma subsidiary, China National Building Material Equipment Corporation, and entered into service in 2007. Recently, UCC, which is located adjacent to Saqr Port, has now emerged as one of the largest exporting plants in the region. Later, Cemtech delegates enjoyed a spectacular banquet held at Ras Al Khaimah’s Golf Club, kindly hosted by His Excellency Sheikh Yasir Al Qassimi and His Excellency Sheikh Rami Al Qassimi.

Cemtech offers its sincere gratitude to all speakers, exhibitors and participants who made this event such a success, particularly those who made the switch from Cairo. We look forward to our next regional conference in February 2012.

For a full review of this event, please see the May 2011 issue of International Cement Review