Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer Makes Markets: Cooperation with Lonza

Lonza and Messer sign a cooperation agreement to build an air separation plant in Switzerland. A new production and transportation strategy will protect the environment.

The industrial gas specialist Messer is continuing to strengthen its position in Europe and will invest some 20 million euros in an air separation plant at Lonza AG in Visp/Lalden in the Swiss canton of Wallis. Lonza is the world’s leading producer of chemical and biotechnological ingredients and products for the life sciences industry. In Visp/Lalden Messer will produce oxygen, nitrogen, and argon for Lonza and the Swiss and Italian markets, as well as medical oxygen for the hospital and home care sector. The plant will be constructed by the plant construction company Cryogenic Engineering, a joint venture of Messer and the largest Chinese producer of air separation plants, HangYang Ltd. It is scheduled to start operating in late 2008. Lonza will be responsible for operation and logistics on behalf of Messer.

New strategy for energy efficiency and environmental protection

One striking feature of the air separation plant is that it is considerably more energy efficient in comparison to existing production plants at Lonza. Increasing the availability of the products by means of larger fuel depots had an influence on Lonza’s decision to build a new plant. For the first time Messer Switzerland now has an independent supply of products for the industrial gas market in Switzerland and – thanks to its proximity to the border – its own product platform for northern Italy. Messer is adopting an innovative strategy in supplying its Swiss and Italian customers: switching as many transports as possible from road to rail means that each day ten fewer tankers take to the road in Switzerland. Messer will construct a fuel depot in Busto Arzicio for further distribution.