Messer has announced it will invest €40m in an air separation unit (ASU) in the province of Tarragona, Spain.

The unit at El Morell will be one of the largest in the country and will expand the Messer's pipeline supplies to the major chemical and petrochemical plants based in the nearby Tarragona Industrial Park. The unit is due for completion in July 2008, and will boast an energy saving of around 10 percent compared to most facilities.

The deal follows a long period of evaluation by Messer of both the financial and logistical aspects of several locations, before settling on this site. Managing Director of Messer Carburos Karl Hauck explained the local community was positive about the development saying, $quot;We are delighted about the willingness to secure the investment for the Tarragona region displayed by the Mayor of El Morell, Pere Guinovart, throughout the entire negotiating process.$quot;

The new site will supply local business with both nitrogen and oxygen through a 90km pipeline network. This new facility will replace the current plant at Vilaseca whose capacity will soon be insufficient to meet the growing needs of the chemical sector.