Industrial gases specialist Messer has signed a joint venture agreement with Malaysian firm Universal Industrial Gas Sdn Bhd. Messer owns more than 60% of the company’s shares.
Universal Industrial Gas was founded in 2009, and in 2016 it commissioned its second cylinder filling station in the province of Selangor. “We anticipate strong long-term growth in the ASEAN countries. With our gases and our application technology know-how, we want to support our customers’ and partners’ production in this region as well,” says Tim Evison, who is responsible for Messer’s strategic business expansion in the countries of Southeast Asia.
The joint venture is now investing in new gas cylinders as well as further optimisation of safety and quality assurance. The product portfolio is also being expanded. These measures are intended to ensure competitiveness in the growing Malaysian market. At the two Universal Industrial Gas sites – at Semenyih, in Selangor province South of Kuala Lumpur, and at Senai, in the southern province of Johor Bahru – a total of 50 staff have been employed. Both plants fill cylinders with industrial gases. In Senai, Universal Industrial Gas also operates an acetylene plant.
Dimitar Popcev of Messer explains, “Malaysia is currently seeing billions being invested, for instance in the petrochemicals, steel and electronics industries. This offers great potential for us, because many of these projects require the use of gases.”
Popcev is in charge of the joint venture along with Kam Fook Yong, founder and Managing Director of Universal Industrial Gas. Gases are as important as water and electricity in the manufacture of many end products. Potato crisps packed under a controlled atmosphere, xenon headlights and krypton torches are obvious examples – but gases are also used, for example in the production of paper, ice cream, wind turbines, cars and airbags, tiles and ceramics, as well as taps.