German industrial gas specialist Messer has signed a contract with the Vietnamese Hoa Phat Group to build a production unit for industrial gases, the company investing €13m in the largest and most modern air separation unit in Vietnam.

Signed on 25th October, the term of the contract for supplying oxygen, nitrogen and argon is 25 years and Messer will construct the air separator and gas liquefier on the site of the steel producer Hoa Phat Steel Stock Company Ltd.

When production commences, up to 16,500 cubic metres per hour of oxygen will flow through a pipeline into the new steel works of the Hoa Phat Group in the Hai Duong province.

In addition to the wide range of applications at Hoa Phat Steel, the liquefied or gaseous industrial gases will also satisfy the demand of industrial companies based in the so-called Hanoi-Haiphong Corridor and represents a important investment in the South Pacific Rim region.

Stefan Messer, owner and managing director of the Messer Group, commented, “The industrial and economic situation in North Vietnam will be extremely dynamic in the future. The cooperation with Hoa Phat therefore supports our strategy of investing in the growth markets of our core region.”

The Messer group is based most notably in Europe and Asia and has been active in Vietnam for 10 years with 2 companies in the country, Messer Vietnam Industrial Gases and Messer Haiphong Industrial Gases in Haiphong – a joint venture with Shinimex in which Messer has a share of around two thirds.

As well as this latest contract agreement, the company is also planning to build an air separation plant in central Vietnam together with Shinimex, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (Vinashin), in order to supply industrial gases to the shipbuilding industry and other production industries in the area.

Tony Rivera, general manager of Messer in Vietnam, declares, “Vietnam achieves notably high growth rates, especially through the processing industry. Vietnam has the fastest growing national economic behind China.”