The new plants will be connected to the utility and pipeline network by the end of 2010 and will supply nitrogen for injection into the onshore condensate field in Habshan, close to the Bab oil field, to free natural gas for the national grid.

Adnoc has previously considered using nitrogen gas as an alternative to conventional gas for reinjection on its onshore oil fields (MEED 21:9:07).

The two units will have a total nitrogen capacity of 670,000 cubic metres per hour.

The deal was signed through the firms’ Elixier joint venture which was founded in December 2007 (MEED 19:12:07).

Linde holds a 49 per cent stake in the venture with Adnoc owning 51 per cent.

In 2006 the German firm won the cracker package on Abu Dhabi Polymers Company’s (Borouge) petrochemicals complex in Ruwais.

Adnoc has a major stake in the project (MEED 1:12:06).

Under the terms of the estimated $1.3bn lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction contract, Linde will build the 1.4 million-tonne-a-year ethane cracker in 41 months.