May. 4, 2020

Philippe Peccard

UAE, Abu Dhabi

Philippe Peccard

President, Linde Group ME

The Linde Group is optimistic that the region has the resources and capacity to further unlock its full value chain in a sustainable fashion.


Before his appointment as President of Linde Engineering & Linde Investments Middle East/North Africa in 2017, Philippe Peccard covered different roles at Linde Group, including head of business development for Linde Investments in Greater China in 2005 and vice-president and project development Europe, Middle East, and Africa in 2010. He started his career at Shell UK in the R&D department. He holds a master's degree in engineering physics/applied physics, and a bachelor's degree in applied science, chemical engineering, both obtained in Nancy, France.

How does the company's operating mandate in the UAE differ from its other global operations?
Linde recently merged with Praxair, which was previously a competitor. This has significantly consolidated our global footprint, especially across the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. We are now a half-American, half-European organization with a 50% listing on the New York Stock Exchange and the other 50% on DAX in Germany. What's more, we have a new global senior management team that shares a strategic vision for the organization, especially its approach to the Middle East. We aim to grow our activity in the region and intend to leverage the positive reputations that both Linde and Praxair have to capture new market share. In addition to this, both entities are able to combine their resources and expertise. Overall, we have 1,300 employees operating under solely owned joint ventures in five countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. We also have ambitions to supply technology solutions, industrial gases, and services to the chemical, metals, and energy sectors. The technological aspect of our work has allowed us to build successful references and will enable us to gain further traction as we look to the future with our local partners.

How might your activities develop over the next few years, and what are your ambitions for the region?
At present, there are some notable projects in downstream, especially with the integration between refining and petrochemicals, along with the value-added dynamics in chemical production. This is happening in Jubail, Yanbu, and Ruwais. This activity provides opportunities for technological solutions to facilitate the integration of the existing units and the supply of industrial gas. The further you go down the value chain, the more important industrial gases and associated services become. There is certainly more demand for sophisticated services across this cluster. Local players are not only willing to buy a plant; they also want to access and develop the associated technology and expertise to ensure long-term efficiency and value. In terms of R&D, there is also the opportunity to partner with local companies and institutions, especially in the oil and gas sector. There are specific demands here, such as how to optimize the energy value chain, take better advantage of local resources, and integrate solar energy into the mix. There are concerns in the region over carbon emission; Linde is investing globally in carbon management and hydrogen mobility. We are receiving interest from local companies in this field and foresee significant potential with these solutions in the future. Overall, we see substantial investment in new technologies and expect this to continue over the coming decade.

How do you see the energy trilemma, or the connection between energy, environment, and economy, playing out over the next decade?
There is a need for sustainable energy and utilities solutions in this region. You have an abundance of sunshine and have the huge carbon reserves. Even with the new technologies in renewable solutions, we still have to rely on carbon over the next 50 years or so. You can define and implement a roadmap of the energy transition in combining carbon resources with carbon capture and utilization as well as solar energy. Energy and utilities remain essential to the industrial output of the UAE and its revenues from export markets. We are observing pilot projects that are testing the technology coming online. A large amount of innovative technology already exists; it's a matter of scaling up and finding options that work better. Engaging in long-term business relationships with countries like India, China, and Japan will also be essential. The UAE is working hard in this domain. Overall, I am optimistic that the region has the resources and capability to further unlock the full value chain and do so sustainably.