The Messer Group has commissioned its new €33m specialty gas plant in Suzhou, eastern China.

The new plant is equipped with state-of-the-art production and purification systems, as well as an additional filling station, and will serve as a production and logistics centre for Messer in China.

The facility has an annual production capacity of 600 tonnes of nitrous oxide (N2O) with a purity of 99.9995%, along with other high-purity gases for electronic applications such as silane (SiH4), ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen, as well as various gas mixtures.

“This investment in a new production site underlines our commitment to Messer’s growth strategy,” said Werner Hickel, Managing Director of Messer in China. “With this decision, we are also taking advantage of our development opportunities and reacting flexibly to the changes in our customers’ demand for gases.”

The new facility is regarded as an important milestone by Messer and strengthens its position as a leading specialty gases supplier in the Chinese market. The company had already set-up a specialty gases plant in Wujiang, near Suzhou, back in 1998.

From the new plant in Suzhou, Messer will supply increasing customer demand from companies in the electronics industry and in particular, manufacturers of flat screens, semiconductors, LEDs and photovoltaic equipment.

gasworld understands that growth has returned to the electronics business in recent years, and the marketplace continues to experience solid volume potential. China, meanwhile, is home to a rapidly developing semiconductor industry.

According to a March report by microelectronics industry association SEMI, sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in China grew 30% in 2014 versus figures in 2013. Speaking ahead of SEMICON China 2015 event earlier this year, Allen Lu – President of SEMI China – commented, “The rapid development of the semiconductor industry in China has already formed an industry base of domestic enterprises. The unprecedented scale of new industry investment signaled by government plans is likely to further impact the global industry landscape.”