As the ANNA Executive Group, hosts, and organizers of ANNA 2013 gathered for a post-show debrief, they were hard-pressed to come up with suggestions for improvement. Although the meeting generated a few good ideas, much of it was spent discussing what went right at this year’s annual conference, held September 22-27 in Benidorm, Spain. In fact, ANNA 2013 set records for attendees with more than 400 registrations, producers and suppliers hailing from more than 40 different countries.
Conference Chair David Hind reported that the well-attended meeting included great dialogue, old friends and colleagues, and new friends and colleagues. “I could not have asked for anything more,” said Hind. “The high quality presentations were presented very professionally. I continue to be impressed by those willing to share in English when English is not their native language.”
Karl Hohenwarter of Borealis won best ammonium nitrate paper with his presentation “Eliminate risk of AN backflow.” Sam Correnti of Dyno Nobel took the prize for best nitric acid paper, delivering a presentation titled “Material of Construction Changes: Improved Reliability in Concentrated Acid Production.” A link to download all 41 presentations is available on this web site under Library (link). If you attended ANNA 2013, you should have already received the password that granting you access.
The Organizing Committee led by Hind, Hans Reuvers (BASF), Peter Hein (CSBP Ltd.), Leif Rasmussen (Yara), Frank Wolf (AN Resources), Doug Chandler (Dyno Nobel), and Dan Kilpatrick (Terra Industries) assembled a program focused on safety performance, environmental awareness, and technical excellence. The agenda also include a thought-provoking round table discussion focused on AN Safety issues. According to Hind, the lively sessions were well attended, drawing both producers and exhibitors. “Special thanks to the speakers for the time and effort taken to develop, present and allow their presentations to be made available to the wider ANNA community,” he added.
Attendees also took time to network and meet with old friends during the week. Events included dinners and shows, with a Spanish flair, organized by Francisca Galindo of host company Fertiberia and Enrique Madrigal of Espindesa (a subsidiary of Tecnicas Reunidas), the Exhibit Hall Coordinator.
The busy week-long event came to a close on with a field trip on Friday. Producers and Exhibitors took a bus ride up the Spain’s Costa Blanca past the city of Valencia, where they toured Fertiberia’s impressive Sagunto Plant.
Special thanks are in order to Galindo and Madrigal for their tremendous efforts in planning the 2013 Conference, arranging activities, tours, and memorable events. Burke Allen and Kelly Grumney of Alloy Engineering (mailings and other support), Mike Gervais of Geib Refining (finances), Jessica Keller of Umicore (conference binder), Joëlle Torta of ProSim (sponsorships), Kirk Richardson (Registration) and many others also helped make ANNA 2013 a tremendous success. Hind complimented Galindo, Madrigal and their teams for their ability to work together to organize and host this spectacular conference: “Someone mentioned that organizing the ANNA conference is like organizing a 7-day wedding for 400 guests, and your mother in law will be staying at your house.”
The site for next year’s meeting may not be on the Mediterranean Sea, but it will be no less inviting. Host Apache Nitrogen is already busy organizing ANNA 2014, which will be held at the picturesque JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Arizona. Be sure to visit www.an-na.org frequently for updates on this information-packed, can't miss-event in the wild, wild west.
Quotable quotes heard in the halls of the Meliá Villaitana hotel at ANNA 2013
• “I hate calling them in from break, they are all busy talking”
• “Dave, you’re on Spanish time now”
• “We visited a castle, how was your day in the refrigerated underground conference room.”
• “This is the conference that cannot be missed”