Further strengthening its position in the Polish gases market and highlighting its commitment in Central and Eastern Europe, Air Products this week announced a number of investments in the region.

The company revealed a new supply contract in Russia, the planned construction of a new cylinder filling depot in Poland, and the completion of its high purity hydrogen plant in Novaky, Slovakia.

Air Products declared the announcements as a sign of its capitalising on recent investment in Eastern Europe.

Erwin Zwicky, President of Air Products Europe, explained the developments, “Central and Eastern Europe is a key region for us, as it is showing an impressive growth rate. The investments we are making show our determination to build on the successful acquisition of BOC Gazy we made in 2007, which positions us as the number one industrial gas provider in Poland.”

“Our presence in Central Europe is growing, and we now operate two hydrogen plants in the region – in Litvinov, Czech Republic and Novaky, Slovakia, allowing us to serve customers across the entire region.”

Russian revelation
Having signed a contract with Alcoa, in Russia, Air Products will supply nitrogen to the company’s aluminium plant in Samara and as part of the agreement, will install two high purity nitrogen generators which will take over the existing generator on the site.

The new generators are expected to be on-stream in 2009.

Russia is regarded as an important growth market for Air Products, where the company is involved in projects in the Moscow region and now in the Samara region.

Prime Polish position
As the largest supplier of technical and industrial gases in Poland, the company is further strengthening its leadership position in the Polish market with the announcement that it will build a state-of-the-art cylinder filling depot in Warsaw.

Construction is due to start in 2009, with the depot set to be operational in 2010. The depot will use the latest technology to fill over 3,000 cylinders per day at a pressure of 200 bar, which is the standard cylinder pressure currently used in Poland.

A 200 bar cylinder holds a greater quantity of gas than 150 bar cylinders, which translates into cost reduction for the users, as less frequent fillings are needed, and in turn reduces transport and storage costs.

The depot will be equipped to fill cylinders with all types of medical gases, technical gases, including argon, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and mixtures, and Linx® gases, the most technically-advanced range of welding gases available in Poland.

As well as this, modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) gases for the food industry will also be provided.

The site will become the second technical gas filling depot to be built by Air Products in Poland, following the opening of the depot in Kędzierzyn-Koźle in 2005.

Slovakian supply
In Slovakia, the company’s new high purity hydrogen plant in Novaky is now on-stream, bringing additional hydrogen capacity to customers in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.

The plant complements the company’s existing facility in Litvinov, the Czech Republic, and will support key industries such as glass, metals and food.