Ploughing ahead with its €35m investment in an ASU at Siegen in Germany, industrial gas specialist Messer last month awarded building contracts worth €3.4m to companies in the Siegen area of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The huge order volume is in connection with the construction of a new production facility for extracting gases from the atmosphere at the Deutsche Edelstahlwerke site in Siegen-Geisweid. Messer is investing €35m in an air separation plant which is due to start producing oxygen, nitrogen and argon in autumn 2009.

Between July 2008 and May 2009, a team of up to 35 highly skilled personnel from building companies based in the Siegen area will be working hard on the project, from initial excavations right through to the completion of the control room and machine hall.

During the next eleven months, more than 5,500 cubic metres of concrete, 1,200 square metres of brickwork and 570 tonnes of steel will be going into place.

“We regard it as very important to make a contribution to the long-term economic development of the Siegen region,” says Peter Schulte, Head of Sales and Distribution at Messer Industriegase GmbH.

Between now and mid-August, almost 200 steel piles will be driven into the ground to form the foundations on which will stand the central element of the industrial gases plant, the 60m-tall ‘coldbox’. The topping-out ceremony for the air separation plant is due to take place in November 2008 and customers should start receiving first supplies in October 2009.