Brussels/Vienna, 16 January 2018 – Stefan Borgas, CEO of RHI Magnesita, was elected new president of the World Refractories Association (WRA) and took office in the first days of January this year. He will assume the presidency previously occupied by François Wanecq, former CEO of Vesuvius plc, for two years.
Borgas and the RHI Magnesita delegation directed their gratitude to Mr. Wanecq for his work and dedication as inaugural president of the WRA and thanked the whole Vesuvius team for the seamless handover they facilitated together with the WRA secretariat. “It is a great honor and pleasure for me to chair our industry’s global association. I will continue with my team to work hard to further promote the interests of the refractory industry worldwide and expand its global network”, said Stefan Borgas.
Focus on new members, agenda setting, safety and global raw material situation
After the successful merger of RHI and Magnesita in October 2017, the combined group RHI Magnesita set itself the ambition to be “the driving force of the industry”. Stefan Borgas sees this as a connecting factor for his presidency at the World Refractories Association. “RHI Magnesita and the WRA ¬ want both to drive positive change and innovation not only in the refractory industry but also in our customer’s industries. This means adapting to changing customers’ needs and the new technical or commercial requirements.”
Besides strengthening the role of the association founded just in 2014 as a counterpart to other world industry and customers organizations such as the World Steel Association, Stefan Borgas strives to increase the number of WRA members to unite as many producers as possible. In a next conceptual step, local members’ interests and global sector issues will be aligned to create a generally recognized industry agenda. Among the obvious main issues, Mr. Borgas will put a special focus on innovation, safety and safety data collection and the tense global raw material situation driven by stricter environmental regulations in China as thematic priorities for his presidency in 2018.
The next WRA Board Meeting will be held in the course of the CERAMITEC from April 10 – 13, 2018 in Munich, which is one of the leading international trade fairs within the industry and an annual meeting place for experts and decision-makers in refractories.