It’s a beautiful day here in Abu Dhabi, but no one at the Beach Rotana Hotel wants to be outside in the sun.

There’s too much going on inside; the gasworld ‘Industrial Gases – Adding Value to End-Users’ 2009 Middle East conference has officially begun.

At 9am local time in Abu Dhabi, delegates settled into their seats ready to enjoy the first session of the two-day event, entitled, ‘Drivers for Growth in the Region’.

They were welcomed by Kevin Murphy, gasworld’s Business Development Manager, who took to the stage to introduce this long-awaited event.

There has been much excitement surrounding Frances Moffett-Kouadio’s presence at the conference, and high expectations were indeed filled as the British Embassy’s Director of Trade and Investment officially opened the event.

Moffett-Kouadio discussed the British Embassy's involvement in the Middle East region and offered advice to delegates, she said, “Think about what you can offer in the UAE, training opportunities etc, think about the bigger picture.”

“The 2030 vision for Abu Dhabi is investment in four main strands, diversification, social human resources development, infrastructure development, and for it to have the best government a region can have,” she continued.

The first in a long line of knowledgeable, experienced professionals to speak at the gasworld conference was John Raquet, Managing Director of Spiritus Consulting and co-founder of gasworld, who offered some interesting statistics for the industrial gas industry.

Next up was Tony Potter, Managing Director of CMAI Middle East and India, who took to the stage as Raquet closed, and discussed petrochemicals in the Middle East.

Potter discussed the industry and the effect the financial crisis has had, he said, “In terms of global GDP growth, we are at least in positive territory, Q3 was certainly positive and we see next year GDP around 2 -3.5%, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet.

$quot;Whilst things are positive, all we’ve done is turn the corner at the bottom of the trough, the positive GDP we will experience over the next 12 months is only catching up with where we were before the crash.”

Before breaking for a short coffee break, the delegates were treated to an engaging presentation on carbon capture and storage technologies, from leading gas professional Dr Bernd Holling, Vice President of Business Development at Linde-KCA-Dresden, a Linde Engineering entity in Germany.

Dr Holling began by introducing Linde’s activities in the Gulf region, distinguishing between the different roles of Linde Gas and Linde Engineering.

Holling discussed a number of different technologies for carbon capture, focusing on Pre-Combustion (IGCC), Oxyfuel (Oxycoal), and Post-Combustion (PCC).

Discussing PCC technology, Holling made reference to the pilot plant in Niederaussem, Germany, which Linde has built with the help of technological partners RWE and BASF.

“The partnership of RWE, BASF and Linde shows strong engagement and will guarantee the implementation of PCC solutions for the power industry,” he commented.

After a short coffee break, Naji Scaf, Chief Operating Officer for Gulf Cryo, took to the stage to Chair the next session, ‘Carbon dioxide and nitrogen opportunities’.

Krish Krishnamurthy, Energy Innovation Council Manager of Innovation Management at Linde, was the first speaker, and gave a presentation on nitrogen and carbon dioxide for enhanced oil and gas recovery.

Next to the stage was Henrik Lyhne, Sales Manager at Union Engineering, who gave his views on the pros and cons of on-purpose, and recovered merchant carbon dioxide.

Carlos Duran, Senior Engineer, of Ros Roca Indox Cryoenergy, closed the morning session with a presentation on LNG storage and distribution.

Don’t miss out - to get the latest updates as they happen click the ‘Conference Live’ link on the gasworld website.