Having revealed certain details in its recent interview with gasworld, The Linde Group has announced that, with The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), it has decided to construct two large air separation units (ASU) through their joint venture Elixier in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Total investment costs amount to approximately $800m and starting at the end of 2010, the new plants will be connected to the utility and pipeline network to supply nitrogen for injection into the onshore condensate field in Habshan, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to free natural gas for the national grid.

The two ASU’s will have a total nitrogen capacity of 670,000 standard cubic metres per hour.

Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, explained, “By using our expertise to increase the efficiency of fuel production at the Gulf, Linde makes another important contribution to the solution of the energy dilemma. With this project, our presence in the Middle East gets a significant boost in quality and size, so that we remain the leading gases and engineering company in this thriving market.”

State-owned oil company ADNOC owns 51% and Linde 49% of the shares in the Elixier joint venture (legal name ADNOC Linde Industrial Gases Company Ltd), which was founded in December 2007. ADNOC manages the onshore and offshore oil, gas and petrochemical business in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The importance of the emerging Middle East market to Linde was highlighted, as Belloni attended the gasworld Middle East Conference in Dubai last December and provided the opening speech for the event. Having highlighted the importance of such an event and the renewed surge in demand for a whole variety of industrial and medical gases that the region affords, he also enthused, “It is a big honour for me to be invited to start the first gathering of the industrial gases community in this part of the world.”

Last month, both Belloni and Linde CEO Dr Wolfgang Reitzle affirmed the group’s positive outlook as they gave an exclusive interview for the May issue of gasworld magazine, revealing details of the ADNOC joint venture and the significance of this to Linde. Belloni told gasworld, “We have achieved what no other Western company has been able to do up to now. Not even the oil majors were granted a more than 40% share in an Abu Dhabi joint venture. This gives us a very favourable market position in Abu Dhabi.”

For the full interview and more, visit the website at www.gasworld.com/news.php?a=2669 or check out the magazine’s May edition.