ANNA 2016 Meeting Includes New Faces and Perspectives
More than 400 people attended the 2016 ANNA Conference September 18-23 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. OCI Nitrogen did a superb job of hosting this year’s event, which was held at the NH Eindhoven Conference Centre Koningshof. In all, 38 countries were represented by the producer and exhibitor company representatives attending this truly international processing industries conference.
“For OCI Nitrogen, the ANNA Conference contributes to a safer fertilizer industry,” reports Nick Vogels, OCI’s Technology Manager Fertilizers and Chair of the 2016 ANNA Organizing Committee. “All participants share their experiences, technologies and solutions, and the conference gives you a perfect opportunity to network with other producers and exhibitors. As this year’s host, we were able to make all this possible. When participants give positive feedback, it feels good and makes us proud, and it is worthwhile to host the ANNA Conference!”
Hans Reuvers of BASF coordinated an information-packed technical program that included 20 ammonium nitrate and 20 nitric acid presentations, delivered by an international group of experts. Meeting participants voted “AN-14 Firefighting in a CAN plant” by Rob Smeets and Klaas vander Velde of the Fire brigade Chemelot-site company Sitech as the top presentation in the Ammonium Nitrate session. The group voted “NA-15 Replacing bottom 4 trays of a Weatherly absorber column” by Dan Schuler of PCS Nitrogen, as its top Nitric Acid session presentation.
This year’s meeting included another successful exhibit hall, where more than 60 suppliers presented potential solutions for challenges that producer engineers face in their operations. When participants weren’t attending technical sessions or in the hall interacting with vendors, OCI Nitrogen arranged field trips outside the conference to its plant facilities at its Chemelot site and other interesting venues.
“Many people ask me how I can tell if the conference is a success,” says Conference Chair David Hind of Orica. “Some look at the numbers, for me, I look at the dynamics and the number of people engaged in conversations and learning from each other. This year’s conference was a success on all accounts.”
Many new companies participated in ANNA 2016, and that added some fresh perspectives to this year’s discussions. “Although half the people were new to the conference, by the end of the week, everyone was engaged for the betterment of the industry demonstrating the successful networking and learning atmosphere generated by the close relationship of producers and exhibitors,” concludes Hind. He adds that early feedback about this year’s conference has been mostly positive.
Hind predicts that the momentum generated in Eindhoven will continue when the conference moves to North America next fall. The 2017 ANNA Conference will be held October 1 to 6th, 2017 at Hyatt Regency Lost Pine Resort and Spa, located 20 minutes from Austin, Texas.