The Messer Group has revealed it is investing over €20m in the development of the Turkish gas market, planning both an industrial gas production unit and a cylinder filling plant.

Frankfurt-based Messer, the largest privately managed industrial gas specialist, is to plough over €20m in the production facility in Turkey, as part of a wider investment programme currently underway in Europe.

As well as an air separation plant (ASU) for the production of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, which will go into operation in mid 2009, a modern filling plant for gas cylinders and a new administration building are planned.

The air separation plant is state-of-the-art in terms of energy efficiency and set to be built at the heart of the Turkish industrial conurbation, which is located approximately 90km to the east of the metropolis of Istanbul.

In Turkey, Messer's main customers are shipyards, car manufacturers and hospitals.

The newly announced ASU will cater for part of this customer base, also producing ultra pure medical oxygen for patients with respiratory diseases.

Sharing in growthThrough the investment, Messer notes it ‘would like to share in Turkey’s economic growth’ and further build on its well established presence in the country.

The company is already present in the region through Messer Aligaz Sanayi Gazlari, founded in 1974 and now employing around 70 people at two sites in Istanbul and at sites in Manisa and Bursa.

Today in Istanbul, acetylene for welding and thermal cutting as well as medical laughing gas are produced, while gases and welding gas mixtures are bottled. With its distribution centre in Bursa, Messer Aligaz has operations right in the heart of the Turkish automotive industry.

Wider investment programme
The €20m development in Turkey is just part of a wider network of investment that the Messer group is making in the independent supply of industrial gases in Europe.

The company is firmly sticking to its objectives, devoting up to €280m total capital expenditure in industrial gas production plants in Europe from 2007 to 2010.

In September, the first of its new air separation facilities went online in Tarragona, Spain. In October, an ASU on the site of the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina, commenced production of oxygen and argon.

While in addition to the facility in Turkey, a further seven air separation units are under construction in Europe.