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Ali Vezvaei

UAE, ABU DHABI - Energy & Mining

All Along The Stream

President, Middle East & North Africa of Linde AG-Engineering


Ali Vezvaei was appointed in 2014 as the President of Linde AG, in charge of Linde Engineering companies and projects across the MENA. He also sits on the Board of all Linde Engineering companies in the MENA region. Prior to his current assignment at Linde, he served as the Global Senior VP of Siemens Oil & Gas (SOG), a cross-energy sector organization with hubs in Houston, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Germany representing Siemens’ broad offering toward the oil and gas industry. Previously, he served as the Senior Executive VP of Siemens AG’s Oil & Gas Division, overseeing projects and operations across 16 countries in the MENA region. He also served as the VP of Global Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions, operating out of Siemens AG Oil & Gas’s HQ in Germany.

TBY talks to Ali Vezvaei, President of Middle East & North Africa of Linde AG-Engineering, on the services the company offers, R&D activities, and working with ADNOC.

What customer services does Linde provide in Abu Dhabi?

The majority of the business segments that we are engaged in can be clustered primarily into: Linde Engineering, which is the technology and execution arm of the group; Linde Gas, one of the world’s leading industrial gas suppliers with a considerable contribution to the group’s revenue; and Healthcare, a relatively new and exciting field that has been augmented through a major acquisition in the US. Linde Engineering’s business model is basically a technology-based EPC, meaning a comprehensive value proposition around our broad range of in-house technologies from upstream gas treatment, to midstream LNG, all the way to downstream in petrochemicals and chemicals. With its own specific market cycles, Linde Engineering has grown steadily over the past decade to revenues of between $4 billion to $4.5 billion. On the upstream side, we do natural gas treatment based on in-house and also external partnerships. Along that line comes nitrogen rejection units, sulfur recovery, and, of course, LPG extraction, which has been booming in the US thanks to the shale gas revolution. In the midstream segment, Linde is one of main players in the field of LNG technology. We focus on midsize and smaller-scale opportunities that have their own momentum fueled by the era of distributed energy and enhanced monetization of the gas reserves. Downstream petrochemicals are also a focus market segment for Linde Engineering, built around several in-house patented technologies and innovative solutions that are aimed at adding value to our customers’ operations.

What are the main opportunities feedstock diversity offers to the industry in Abu Dhabi?

This is where we believe technology leadership and collaboration is key to the challenges ahead. The gas shortage became a reality in the region. The ability to manage heavier feedstock is the bridge. The most interesting takeaway here is that technology not only enables also aims to make ventures more economically attractive. Linde is a leading player in this domain, on one side due to the decades of experience and excellence in liquid cracking and on the other side with new enhancing technologies and solutions. What we call it “value cracking” is a game-changing solution whereby optimization of the streams and derivatives in a liquid cracker creates more value that then enhances the economics of the system. There are other well-established trends, including the integration of the refinery and petrochemicals, which basically builds on feedstock synergies, scope, optimization, and, of course, cost synergies. In an ideal scenario, Takreer and Chemaweyaat may have an opportunity to build on these synergies.

What is your strategy in terms of R&D?

R&D is beyond a priority for us in the hydrocarbon industry; it is more like a necessity to remain in the game. If you want to lead the game, then you need to have a different game plan, or a combination of several initiatives.

How would you assess your relationship with ADNOC?

The industry has become so complex and volatile that without trustful and successful partnerships, business ideas become more of a theory than a reality. Without a proper partnership, it is impossible to create value, to grow, and, of course, to succeed. When looking at ADNOC group, you see an interesting and broad mix of opportunities, from upstream gas and LNG terminals all the way to downstream and petrochemicals.



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