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April 25, 2022

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Riad Faour speaks about the Aluminum Industry and Progesys

Riad Faour was recently interviewed by AlCircle for their March/April 2022 edition of LeaderSpeak magazine. He spoke of essential services needed for successful industrial aluminum projects, the future of the industry’s supply chain amid the sanctions on Russia, Progesys’ collaboration on zero-emission projects, scaling up of industrial automation in projects, and the implementation of new technologies for production acceleration. Read the full interview below for Riad’s in-depth answers.

Progesys has been very active in helping clients with projects targeting the net-zero emissions, Riad Faour, CEO at Progesys

Riad is the founder and CEO of Progesys that is responsible for providing leadership and managing the growth of the company. He has over 23 years of experience in project management and executive leadership throughout North America and abroad.

He started his career in the aluminum industry in Canada and then the USA. He worked with owners of assets and projects as well as engineering firms before he founded Progesys in 2003 and has since been responsible for its growth and expansion to many industries and regions including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. He received the UQAM performance award in 2016 for leadership, entrepreneurship, and international development. Riad is a registered professional engineer.

He earned a Bachelor of Engineering from École Polytechnique in Montréal, a Masters of Project Management degree from the University of Quebec in Montreal, and completed the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Management program.

AlCircle: What are the services that you are focusing on this year and how can they help the aluminium industry?

Mr. Riad Faour: We provide complete project management and transition to operations services. We believe that the greatest factors and at the same time risks dictating the outcome of an industrial project are the quality of project management and the readiness and structure during the transition to operations. We continue to offer these services to our clients in the aluminium industry in Asia, the Middle East, and North America and with the acquisition in 2021 of Progesys Acttio, based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, we are now in a good position to offer the same services to the South American market.

AlCircle: What are the ongoing projects in the aluminium industry you are delivering in 2022?

Mr. Riad Faour: Progesys, in consortium with Black &Veatch and PT Jaya, is delivering PMC services for a 1-MTPA smelter grade alumina refinery in Indonesia. The project in West Kalimantan is strategic for adding value to PT Antam bauxite mining operations and PT Inalum Aluminium smelting operations. In the Middle East, our team in the Dubai office continues to offer solutions to aluminium industry clients in the region, including Emirates Global Aluminium in Abu Dhabi. In North America, we have completed important construction management and commissioning projects at Rio Tinto Alma, Laterrière, and Kitimat smelters.

AlCircle: How do you think the year 2022 will shape the supply chain of aluminium amid multiple sanctions on Russia, one of the world’s leading producers?

Mr. Riad Faour: In 2022 and 2023, I am sure that we will see a substantial increase in projects in the aluminium industry around the world. The investments and projects will be driven by many factors, including the impact of sanctions, but also the increasing need for aluminium around the world as well as the challenges of the industry to reduce the environmental impact of production and compliance with ESG policies.

AlCircle: While the giants in the aluminium industry are
targeting net-zero emissions, how are you prepping up
to help them achieve the goal this year?

Mr. Riad Faour: Progesys has been very active in helping clients with projects targeting net-zero emissions. We successfully completed the project management and construction management scope of Phase 1 of the Elysis project. Elysis is a joint venture formed by Alcoa and Rio Tinto with investment support from the government of Canada, the government of Quebec, and Apple. The company is working on the commercialization of its proprietary inert anode technology to produce aluminium without any direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For many other ongoing projects, we are contributing through project management and transition to operations expertise which has an important impact on the environment and emissions. These are green projects, such as the new furnace for recycling aluminium installed at the Laterrière plant in Saguenay, Canada, which was put into service in March 2022.

AlCircle: After seeing Industry 4.0 playing an enormous role in game-changing the aluminium industry operations during COVID-19, how do you plan to scale up your industrial automation projects in 2022?

Mr. Riad Faour: Our expertise in Project Management, Construction Management, and Transition to Operations proved very important in the last 2 years for the success of Industry 4.0 projects of our clients. Our capacity to manage projects, see the big picture, focus on the business objectives, and at the same time deploy competent, specialized resources in construction and commissioning brings invaluable results to projects. We have been awarded a mandate to manage the transition to operations for the autonomous mining fleet for IAMGOLD for a mega-project in Ontario, Canada. The expertise we have and the experience we are continuing to build are very important for our clients in the aluminium industry. Hubert Soucy, our 4.0 Practice Director, is working with a team to continue to build the expertise and develop the practice.

AlCircle: Any new technologies are you planning to introduce to the aluminium industry for production acceleration this year, keeping in mind the speedy demand

Mr. Riad Faour: Progesys announced in June 2021 that it is forming an international partnership with Asystom. The Asystom solution monitors and analyses any rotating machine and helps to predict anomalies wirelessly and non-intrusively with a simple installation. Sensors communicate through a LoRa network and data is encrypted end to end. Asystom’s sensors monitor not only heat and vibration but uniquely ultrasound as well, meaning customers have the earliest possible alert of drift before any damage has occurred. They run on standard batteries (so no need for additional wiring), for up to 10 years without intervention. An additional advantage of Long Range is that, due to its low-frequency wireless transmission, the sensors can be positioned up to 1 km away from the LoRa gateway. Data is processed at the edge of the sensors and then the information is transferred and stored in the cloud through an encrypted secure network which is then accessible through web applications.

Read more on LeaderSpeak 2022