The joint venture Elme Messer Gaas has commissioned a new oxygen production plant in Järvakandi, Estonia.

Messer and second shareholder the BLRT Grupp, one of the biggest industrial holdings in the Baltic States, have invested around €5m in the new plant.

The facility is on the site of customer Owens-Illinois, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of container glass.

The plant produces 2,650 cubic metres of oxygen per hour, which fully meets the needs of the new glass trough of Owen-Illinois, which went into operation in December 2014.

“The commissioning of the new oxygen production plant is an important step not only for us, but also for our Estonian joint venture. The investment is a flexible response to the changing needs of our customers,” commented Stefan Messer, owner and CEO of the Messer Group.

Metallurgical, food and beverage, and electronics clients all generate shares of between 3% and 7%, respectively, in the Estonia gases industry, according to gasworld Business Intelligence.

The industrial gas market in Estonia – valued at around $40m in 2014 – is dominated by Elme Messer Gaas AS, established in 1999, and AGA Eesti. The two companies control all but 3% of the market, gasworld understands.

Sustainability goals

The new oxygen production plant from Elme Messer Gaas will contribute to the sustainability goals of Owen-Illinois, the company says.

Oxygen will be fed in gaseous form through a pipeline directly to the burners of the glass trough that operates using oxy-fuel technology, with the oxygen and fuel mixed in a specific ratio.

“The new system reduces both our natural gas consumption as well as our carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions and makes a significant contribution toward meeting our sustainability goals,” explained Viivika Remmel, Owen-Illinois Country Group Executive for North-East Europe.