Depite the tough economic climate at present, recent figures released from the major industrial gas companies demonstrate resilience in the Middle East.

Last month, Air Liquide released its first quarter earnings, which showed a 24.5% rise in revenue for the Middle East and Africa zone.

The region, which totaled €51m for the first quarter of the year, was alone in experiencing a rise in earnings; Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific all recorded a negative percentage change compared to the first quarter of the previous year.

According to Air Liquide, the activity was particularly sustained in the Middle East as a result of the Large Industries start-ups in Kuwait and the Industrial Merchant acquisitions during 2008.

The development of the Healthcare activity in Africa has also been strong, helped by the acquisition of Air Separation, a Tunisian company specialising in respiratory care.

Similarly, in The Linde Group’s Q1 figures, the company noted a high order backlog in its Engineering division, almost half of which relates to the air separation plant product segment.

Oxygen and nitrogen produced in the plants is required primarily by oil companies, and the group noted its work on major projects in the Middle East.

Projects include an Enhanced Gas Recovery plant for Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC) and a Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plant supplied for Shell in Qatar.