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Messer - Geschäftsbericht 2008

Special: 44 years economic history
Dry ice is used in the food and beverage industry as well as the manufacturing and water industries.
Dry ice is used in the food and beverage industry as well as the manufacturing and water industries.

 
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August

Strategic investment in CO2 plant

The Messer Group is going to build a new liquefaction plant at British company Ineos Oxide’s site in Zwijndrecht near Antwerp. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 tonnes of CO2. To this end, Messer and the Belgian company IJsfabriek Strombeek formed the joint venture “bECO2”, in which Messer Benelux holds a 70% stake. The investment costs come to 12.6 million euros. The plant is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2010, and will only require five employees to operate it.

Messer will use two-thirds of the plant’s capacity to supply carbonic acid, dry ice or gaseous and liquid carbon dioxide to its customers in the food and beverage industry as well as the manufacturing and water industries, among others. IJsfabriek Strombeek will take the remaining 30 per cent. Since the Messer Group currently runs its CO2 business in Belgium and the Netherlands exclusively on the basis of purchase contracts which run out at the end of 2009 and in the middle of 2010, the collaboration with Ineos Oxide offers a good opportunity to secure our CO2 business for the long term. The integration of IJsfabriek Strombeek also represents an attractive form of funding our own production in the future. In addition, there are considerable production cost advantages due to the size of the plant. With an independent product supply and a good cost position, the Messer Group will strengthen its competitiveness in the long term, not just in Benelux, but across the European CO2 market as a whole. In the rapidly growing CO2 market, Messer Benelux is already the leading supplier in Belgium and the third-largest one in Benelux. From 2004 to 2007, we were able to increase sales of carbon dioxide by more than 30 per cent.

By building the new CO2 production facility, the Messer Group is also making a positive contribution to the environment: the plant will recover around 20 tonnes of CO2 per hour from industrial waste gas, which will then be recycled. This means that the CO2 which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere is turned into “green gas”, providing an economic benefit without harming the environment.

 


 

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