The technology group The Linde Group has set up a joint venture with The Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (ADNOC), United Arab Emirates, for the production and long-term supply of industrial gases to customers in Abu Dhabi. ADNOC Linde Industrial Gases Company Ltd. is established under the name 'Elixier' and will have ADNOC (51 percent of the shares) and Linde (49 percent of the shares) as shareholders.

$quot;This joint venture is of major strategic importance to us and is the logical expansion of the previous collaboration of our Engineering Division with ADNOC in the petrochemical industry,$quot; said Dr Aldo Belloni, a member of Linde AG's Executive Board. $quot;ADNOC has access to around 90 percent of Abu Dhabi's oil and gas reserves, which are considered to be the fourth largest oil and gas reserves in the world.$quot;

The first phase of the new Elixier joint venture will be the construction of a 65 million US dollar air separation plant in the Industrial Zone of Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. The new air separation plant will supply nitrogen from the end of 2009 to industrial customers in Ruwais and will also produce liquefied nitrogen and oxygen.

ADNOC is also the majority shareholder in the joint venture company Borouge, which produces polyethylene in Ruwais. In November 2006, when Borouge was seeking to expand its production facilities, Linde was awarded a major contract to build one of the largest ethylene crackers in the world, with a production capacity of 1,500,000 tons of ethylene per annum.

The huge natural gas reserves in the United Arab Emirates are being exploited by ADNOC both on and off shore and are not only being exported in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), but are also being used to meet local energy requirements and to supply various industries.