India could soon be home to an added growth driver for industrial gases, after news emerged late this month that the South Asian country would ‘definitely’ be hosting a Formula One Grand Prix in 2011.

Formula One (F1) management supremo Bernie Ecclestone is reported to have told the BBC Asian Network that India will definitely host an F1 GP in Delhi in 2011, with both Ecclestone and Indian company Jaiprakash Associates Ltd fully committed to the project.

After work to construct a new racing circuit on the outskirts of Delhi was postponed beyond its original October 2008 timeframe, the report claims that work on India’s track will now commence in summer 2009. Completion is expected by the end of 2010.

So how will this affect the gases business?

Without wishing to hype-up the impact too much, it’s fair to say that wherever there’s a major construction project or infrastructure development, there’s also an added growth driver for industrial gases.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa is a prime example, thought to have greatly impressed upon the demand for gases, equipment & related services as the mega infrastructure build began.

Another shining example is the Olympic Games, especially those held in China last Autumn.

Bricks & mortar…a direct link
Back in August (2008), gasworld reported how added gas demand had arisen as a result of the Beijing games, highlighting how the construction works in the build-up to the event had increased gas consumption.

Everything from increased steel production and usage, greener transport networks, ramped-up electronic devices demand, and food & beverage requirements were seen as complementing consumption of gases.

David Chow, President of Praxair China, told gasworld last August, “Sports infrastructure as with any other infrastructure requires bricks and mortar to be constructed. The building of any structure requires the use of industrial gases, the development of roads that lead to the facilities, the preparation of raw materials for the structures such as steel, and plastics all have a direct link back to industrial gases.”

“The fact that more sports related infrastructure is being constructed leads to a greater demand for industrial gases…”

Chow added, $quot;It is natural that the Olympic Games generate more business for the city and country where it is held - for example we also supplied the welding gases used in construction of the National Stadium (Bird's Nest) and we will ramp up supply to the beverage industry in preparation for the increased consumption during the Games.$quot;

Any new circuit and facilities build in India is likely to present the same opportunities. Although perhaps on a smaller scale, the similar services necessary to stage such a sporting event is likely to spike industrial gas consumption.

Meanwhile, it’s been learned that England has officially submitted a bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Though there is clearly a wealth of football stadia already in place in the country, coupled with the huge project build in place for staging the London 2012 Olympic Games, it’s reasonable to suggest that a successful tender for the event could also rejuvenate gases demand in the country as a result.