Messer is currently investing approximately €17m ($20m) in the construction of a plant producing air gases oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar) at the industrial site of Trata in Škofja Loka, Slovenia.

Presently a complex lifting procedure is being used to assemble the heart of the air separation plant, involving a column 52 metres tall and weighing 175 tonnes.

The core of the ASU being assmbled, involving a 52 metre-tall column weighing 175 tonnes.

Presently a complex lifting procedure is being used to assemble the core of the air separation plant (ASU), involving a 52-metre-tall column weighing 175 tonnes. For the purpose of transportation, the separating column has been split into four parts which are to be assembled on-site and lifted by industrial cranes with the help of steel belts. The aluminium separator column forms the heart of the plant. Inside it, air will be liquefied and then separated into its components O2., N2 and Ar.

Bojan Andrejašič, Head of the Technical Department of Messer in Slovenia, commented, “Assembly of the complicated construction has been going on since the start of the year with very high precision.”

Danilo Lukač, General Manager of Messer in Slovenia, emphasised further, “This investment has seen us shorten the transport routes, which helps protect the environment.”

Messer’s ASU is being assembled at a site covering 9,500 square metres and as of next winter it will already be supplying the family-owned company Knauf with industrial gases via a pipeline. In addition, around 2,800 other business partners of Messer Slovenia will be supplied with gases from the plant. In the meantime, these businesses are being supplied with O2 from sister companies in Austria, Serbia and Croatia.

”The Slovenian industrial gases market was worth around $85m in 2016. This new capacity addition will further cement Messer’s leading position in the country’s gas business,” confirms James Barr, gasworld’s Senior Business Analyst.