The growing opportunities for industrial gas involvement in the Middle East continue to gather pace, with the news that Abu Dhabi alone has a number of possible gas-consuming projects on the horizon.

Recent reports have suggested that the Abu Dhabi Holding group is interested in the possibility of building a fibre fabrics plant, in just the latest development news to have emerged.

The investment company has apparently signed a memorandum of understanding with an unnamed European firm to assess the feasibility of the plant, according to a statement issued by the firm. The plant would be used to produce non-woven fibres at the park.

ADPP, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Company (Adbic), has a remit to develop the downstream plastics industry in the emirate, while attracting local investors.

Among other projects mooted for the emirate, Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corporation (ADBIC) and Bahrain’s Midal Cables have established a joint venture to build a $100m aluminium rod and conductor plant at the Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone at Taweelah.

Construction of the plant will begin in the first quarter of 2010 and when complete, will produce 150,000 tonnes of aluminium products per year. The plant will be part of ADBIC's upcoming metals cluster, which aims to develop Abu Dhabi's downstream manufacturing capacity in the metals sector.

ADBIC and Midal Cables will receive molten aluminium, the plant’s main feedstock, from the nearby Emirates Aluminium Company Limited (Emal) smelter.

The combination of high energy prices, more stringent environmental legislation, and a growing demand for its products, makes the metals industry an excellent market for gas suppliers.

Oxygen will continue to be the main gas supplied, but the development of new processes could result in more diverse requirements in future.