Centre to make Doha aluminium innovator
QATAR is set to be an aluminium “innovator” with Norwegian aluminium giant Hydro announcing yesterday that it will establish a research and training centre at Qatar Science & Technology Park.
The firm is to invest close to $7mn in the Hydro Technology Centre over its first three years. It will open early this year at QSTP, and will eventually grow to 500sq m with a staff of 10.
Hydro is currently building the Qatalum aluminium plant, the world’s largest ever built in one phase, in a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum.
The centre at QSTP will study ways of maximising the safety and productiveness of Qatalum, through both technology development and training.
Its first projects are to focus on hot-climate working conditions, the environment and cross-cultural technology management.
The Hydro Technology Centre is headed by Tormod Bjork, Hydro Aluminium senior vice president.
“Our Qatar tech centre will help us achieve the highest efficiency and output, combined with high environmental and safety standard at the plants,” he said.
Being located at QSTP, the centre will be able to collaborate closely with the universities at Qatar Foundation’s Education City and Qatar University.
“This will provide study opportunities and ultimately create technology-based employment for local graduates,” Bjork said.
Hydro Aluminium’s senior vice president Jan Arve Haugan, responsible for Technology and Part Owned Operation, said the centre at QSTP is a unique arena for interaction between experienced R&D resources and innovative and ambitious students at local universities combined with access to Qatalum.
“This will create a ‘fast track’ to solve important challenges within production technology, energy recovery and environment,” Haugan said.
QSTP executive chairman Tidu Maini remarked that part of building a knowledge-based economy means developing and applying the world’s best operating techniques to local industry.
“The Hydro Technology Centre is a tremendous example of this, and will position Qatar as an innovator and not just a producer of aluminium,” he added.
Follow us on our social media channels: