MONTREAL, April 11, 2014 /CNW/ - This June, the aluminium industry is holding a major event in Montreal: the Canadian International Aluminium Conference (CIAC). The conference, the second segment of a large international exhibition that brought together nearly 1,000 participants last October in Montreal, will be held from June 2 to 4 with the world's leading aluminium experts from every continent.
Jean Simard, President of the Aluminium Association of Canada, presented the main objectives of the Conference, along with three leaders from major Quebec smelters: André Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aluminerie Alouette; Martin Brière, President of Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products; and Étienne Jacques, Chief Operating Officer of Rio Tinto Alcan, Primary Metal, North America. Together, they directly employ nearly 10,000 workers in Quebec.
"The aluminium industry is in transition, due to the proliferation of new needs and applications for aluminium and, at the same time, the development of new markets and producing regions. These changes, coupled with the implementation of the recent trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, may offer opportunities in the medium and long term for our industry and the Quebec economy, if we can take action now and create the winning conditions for generating an eventual recovery," said Jean Simard.
Aluminium: the key to change
A large part of the conference will be devoted to transport. Whether the reason is regulatory, economic or environmental, virtually all future road or aerospace vehicles will require, in the short or medium term, lighter structures. Aluminium will contribute significantly to this shift, which can already be seen with a large number of manufacturers. It's the same story for infrastructure such as bridges and buildings. Moreover, for the first time at a conference of this kind, a steel representative will be one of the speakers to compare the two metals, demonstrating how each complements the other.
Other experts will present the latest advances in additive manufacturing, described by many as a carrier of an industrial revolution, which is also in the process of transforming current manufacturing technologies.
The conference will also address the relentless pursuit for best — ever more sustainable and responsible — practices, along with issues related to energy, risk management in the face of climate change and recycling. As such, traceability, a key issue for this fully recyclable metal, will be central to many discussions. Greater environmental performance and energy efficiency are examples of improvements the industry hopes to see, as shown by its recent investments in these areas.
Finally, the conference will look at every market dynamic — from the perspective of an ever-evolving global economy. Parts of the world, such as the Middle East and China, have become, in a short time, major players in this industry. Even here, the Canada-European Union agreement could provide aluminium companies with more direct access to huge markets.
"Every aluminium industry player will benefit from these discussions. This is a unique opportunity for networking, training and information gathering with participants and speakers from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America, who will impart and share a wealth of expertise," concluded Jean Simard.
SOURCE: Canadian International Aluminium Conference (CIAC)
For further information: Michel Rochette, Program & Communications, Canadian International Aluminium Conference, 514.792.4430; Lysane Martel, Communications Director, Alcoa Canada, 514.906.2537; Marie-Claude Guimond, Communications Director, Aluminerie Alouette, 418.964.7335; Claudine Gagnon, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, Rio Tinto Alcan, 514.848.1129