Customers and Markets

Messer’s sales division is geared to the needs of customers. Smaller customers are frequently looked after by local sales partners, while deeper partnerships are developed with medium-sized customers who are looked after personally by our local sales departments. International customers, who tend to have complex needs and requirements that span several countries and an international approach to purchasing and/or production technology, are supported by a Key Account Management Team which operates with international scope. Apart from anything else, this allows us to fully exploit the associated business development potential.

Messer places particular emphasis on gaining customers for cylinder gases. Since 2013, we have actively expanded the cylinder gases segment and increased the level of experience sharing within the Messer Group. Messer sees itself as being closer to customers in this area than its competitors.

In China, the focus continues to be on the liquefied-gas business, although the cylinder business was expanded here as well, particularly in the special-gas sector, especially the sale of nitrous oxide. The sale of liquefied gases is also in focus in Vietnam, particularly in the effort to quickly move to full future capacity utilisation of the planned new air separation unit in Dung Quat. In the effort to further increase growth in Asia in general, an office was opened in Singapore. Business development in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries is managed from there.

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an essential factor in the success of the Messer Group. By measuring customer satisfaction, the services provided can be monitored, and the effectiveness of measures carried out can be assessed. This enables us to continually raise the level of customer satisfaction and improve the long-term commercial success of the Messer Group. In 2017, more than 14,000 Messer customers in the countries were surveyed about their satisfaction with the services received. That represents an increase of 57% over the previous year. The rate of customers completing the entire questionnaire fell year-over-year (10.9%) to 6.4%. There were exactly 879 customers in all. The number of customers partially completing the questionnaire also fell, from 478 to 447 customers. Messer’s overall performance in Europe was given a total rating of 8.49 on a scale of 1 for very dissatisfied to 10 for extremely satisfied. This represents a slight decline compared to the previous year, when the score for satisfaction with general performance was 8.51. The online customer-satisfaction questionnaire comprises between nine and 21 questions. Satisfaction is measured by analysing whether customers are generally satisfied with the services, whether customers see a benefit in being supplied by Messer, and whether they are willing to recommend Messer to others. The focus of the questionnaire is based on the importance of 15 services, with the customers then assessing Messer’s performance of these.

The results for overall satisfaction should not be compared with one another, as the mentality applied in assessing satisfaction differs from one country to the next. By performing analyses of customer satisfaction on a regular basis, however, we can observe trends in satisfaction within any given country. This is why customer-satisfaction analyses in each national Messer subsidiary should be repeated every two years.

The survey was repeated in the Messer subsidiaries in France, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands and Slovakia. With the exception of France, where general satisfaction fell slightly from 7.7 to 7.4, general satisfaction in other countries held steady or even improved. French customers viewed availability, the quality of the gases and packaging as very good, but they also saw potential for improvement in the invoice overview and in the punctuality of delivery.

In Austria, where the score was 9.1, the high level of general satisfaction seen in the past was maintained. Very positive marks went to the quality of the gases, the conduct of transport staff and order management, whereas interest in, as well as the assessment of, online services were significantly weaker.

In Bulgaria, too, the customers were very satisfied with the overall service in 2017, giving it the highest rating to date: 9.4. In 2015, the general satisfaction stood at 8.9. The safety standards observed, the quality of the gases and the conduct of employees were viewed in a very positive light. The quality of the data sheets and brochures provided, on the other hand, were deemed areas to be improved.

In Romania, customers’ satisfaction level increased from 8.8 to 8.9. Customers took a very positive view of the quality of the gases and the general services provided, but the handling of business with the gases centres was seen to be in need of improvement.

Satisfaction with services in the Netherlands improved slightly as well. The previous survey, conducted in 2014, resulted in a score of 7.7; in 2017, the satisfaction level rose to 8.1. This particular survey was aimed at new customers who had purchased gases with competitors in the past. Satisfaction with delivery times and completeness of delivery held steady and was very positive; the availability of back-office and field sales staff, on the other hand, was viewed as in need of further improvement.

In Slovakia, overall performance was again assessed with a very high level of satisfaction of 8.9, representing further improvement over the 2015 assessment (8.3). The survey asked customers about their satisfaction with order management and transport performance. The result was very positive, particularly where completeness of delivery and availability of the sales office were concerned.

In addition to customer satisfaction, satisfaction of the gases centres was surveyed as well. Gases centres are external companies that sell industrial gases to our customers in our name within defined regions. Cooperation with the gases centres is very important, as it is the gases centres that maintain direct contact with our customers in the regions. For the first time, our survey asked about satisfaction with our cooperation with the gases centres in France.

In Spain, this survey has been conducted for several years. 292 gases centres in all were contacted; 43 filled out the questionnaire in its entirety, and 13 only in part.

The online questionnaire consisted of nine questions. Along with questions around general satisfaction, the survey also asked gases centres to assess the quality of service provided by the various departments at Messer.

In France, general satisfaction of gases centres in this first-ever survey stood at 7.0. Positive ratings were assigned for availability, the frequency of visits and the quality of the gases centres’ advisors, as well as the presentation of the driver. Gases centres in France see particular room for improvement in matters of punctuality and completeness of deliveries.

In Spain, the general satisfaction score of 6.6 registered in 2016 increased to 7.6 in 2017. While the quality of gases as well as compliance with safety standards were rated very highly, gases centres there complained of a lack of punctuality and completeness of deliveries, and about the quality of the gas cylinders and valves.

International key account management

More and more major international corporations and SMEs have begun centrally concentrating and controlling their purchasing organisations. As a rule, a single person or team is then responsible for the purchase processes applied by multiple national subsidiaries. A system such as this calls for a similar structure on the supplier side, with a contact person clarifying and communicating all of the customer’s requirements.

International Key Account Management (IKAM) addresses precisely these customer needs. Working in close cooperation with regional sales and the central functions, it develops these customers in line with national strategies.

This task is performed differently, depending on the respective customer case involved. A sales colleague from a national subsidiary who has been designated an “International Key Account Manager” and tasked with expanding business with a key customer with whom he or she is very familiar, is provided with professional and dependable support from IKAM. The business relationship with an international customer, which is directly managed by IKAM, is optimally developed by an international team consisting of sales colleagues in all relevant national subsidiaries, under the supervision of the responsible IKAM.

In addition, IKAM coordinates the international Key Account Team, in which Key Account Managers in the national subsidiaries exchange information, experience and strategies with one another with regard to their common customers, and coordinate their market and customer approach with one another. In the case of contacts with international major customers, IKAM coordinates contract negotiations and calls for tender as needed.

IKAM continues to support sales activities relating to all Messer Group customers with international operations.

Digital customer service

Messer has developed an array of digital services for customers to facilitate searches for product information, to make customer contact as paperless as possible, and to simplify gas orders.

These eServices are available through our websites, customer portals or apps. These are the services with which Messer would like to make it possible for interested parties and customers to quickly find the right answers to their questions about gases. We offer technical and safety information for products, gas-application information, calculators that estimate the impact of gases on our customers’ processes, and general safety instructions.

We also offer our customers administrative services including online updating of their customer profile, the online reordering of gases (E-Order) or the billing portal for paperless invoices (E-Invoice). We also operate an electronic data exchange with major customers.

In some national subsidiaries, such as Serbia or Bulgaria, Messer also offers an online shop.

Other services in the field of gas management include online monitoring of tanks and gas-cylinder bundles (E-Monitoring), and the digital monitoring of cylinders (E-Cylinder Management). For customers purchasing special gases, we offer our own customer portal (myLab), where, among other things, certificates are stored.

Selected Projects with our Gases in Cylinders

Switzerland: more and more Triple Savers

Getting existing customers to switch to our ternary mixtures – this was the main focus of the first part of our Triple Saver campaign at Messer Schweiz. We succeeded in further strengthening customer relationships and counteracting any loss of customers to the competition. The second phase focused on gaining new customers. The campaign was supported by our www.Dreifachsparer.ch website, articles in trade publications and an information brochure. Messer’s success rate was greatest when we were able to carry out a demonstration or tests with the ternary mixtures at customer sites.

The Triple Savers at Bator Industrietore AG: Peter von Mühlenen and Zeljko Zekovic

France: More cylinder gases for breweries

In April 2017, Messer France launched a nationwide marketing campaign aimed at breweries. Background: The French beer market has grown by 30% since 2010, with further comparable growth expected by 2019.

To share in this growth, Messer has turned to special communication and sales tools, among other things. This includes a specialist brochure and flyers as well as advertisements in trade journals.

Messer’s industry-specific range consists of three sales packages which comprise both the CO2 and the necessary hardware. Success of the sales drive: Our sales colleagues visited 144 breweries in less than three months’ time and tapped into considerable business potential.

Czech Republic: Laboratory facility for Škoda

800 metres of stainless steel piping, 99 withdrawal points and the relevant expansion stations were required for the gas supply systems that Messer installed at Skoda in Mlada Boleslav in 2017. It is part of the new test laboratory that the car manufacturer has built for drive system development and quality control. The system provides the laboratory’s test engineers with about 30 different, precisely defined gas mixtures as well as high-purity gases. The laboratory is one of the most modern of its kind in Central Europe.

Switzerland: Everything for sheet metal

Merki + Hitz AG in Siggenthal processes sheet metal using modern machinery and has its own welding shop and assembly department. There, among other things, it makes complete housings and appliances from sheet metal. The second-generation family business run by Thomas Merki uses numerous manual welding processes, but also has spot and stud welding machines, various press brakes as well as laser and waterjet cutting machines. For cutting and welding, Messer supplies Merki + Hitz with welding argon and Ferroline C6 X1 in cylinders, as well as liquid nitrogen and oxygen from a tank.

Precision welding at Merki + Hitz

Poland: Hail control gun

Hail control guns fire a high-energy and high-speed shock wave into the clouds, thereby preventing the formation of hailstones. This is also the functional principle of the anti-hail gun used by the Specjalistyczne Gospodarstwo Ogrodnicze Marek Dzida market garden in Goczatkowice-Zdröj. It protects the company’s extensive fields and greenhouses from hailstorms, which are becoming increasingly frequent as a result of climate change. The shock waves are generated by detonating a small amount of the welding gas acetylene in the funnel-shaped gun. The gas for this is supplied by Messer.

The anti-hail gun is being used with the aim of preventing hail damage.

Hungary: Repairing ships

For 171 years, Balatoni Hajözasi Zrt. - the shipping company that operates on Lake Balaton - has been offering its transport services on the Hungarian lake. Among other things, it has 24 excursion vessels and four ferries that link the northern and southern shores of the elongated lake. Last year, the company carried more than 1.7 million passengers. It also operates the public ports on Lake Balaton. It uses gases from Messer for the upkeep of port facilities and ships. Ferroline and argon are the main gases it uses for welding, and for plasma cutting it uses nitrogen and oxygen. The latter is also used in flame cutting.

Portugal: Welding gases for boiler construction

Martin Caldeiras, a subsidiary of German waste-to-energy company Martin GmbH für Umwelt- und Energietechnik, produces spare parts for the boilers used in waste incineration plants. At its plant in Caldas da Rainha, which opened in 2017, the firm applies coatings and offers maintenance services. Messer supplies the company with argon, Ferroline and Inoxline for gas-shielded arc welding. The Swiss subsidiary, Martin AG, also gets its welding gases from Messer.

China: Nitrous oxide for Starbucks

Starbucks in China uses nitrous oxide from Messer to speed up the process of making whipped cream. Instead of several minutes of stirring, a quick blast of gas is enough to turn the liquid milk product into a fluffy, creamy mass. In addition, the bubbles produced have a flavour-enhancing effect on account of their size. This is why the gas is used frequently in the food industry to froth up liquids and emulsions. For example, the American coffee giant uses it to make coffees such as mocha, con panna and frappuccino particularly creamy. Starbucks operates some 2,600 cafés in China. Messer has specially developed a refillable nitrous oxide pressure cylinder for the company’s outlets in Shanghai. Compared with the disposable cans used up to now, it contains 250 times more gas and therefore needs to be replaced much less often.

Shelly Zhao (left) and Shally Xia of Messer in China enjoying a frappuccino at Starbucks.

Hungary: Nitrogen protects pesticides

Many liquid pesticides react with oxygen. In order to preclude this unwanted reaction, Farmmix uses nitrogen from Messer in the filling process for such pesticides. The agricultural wholesaler operates its own filling plants at several sites in Hungary. Injecting the gas ensures that atmospheric oxygen is displaced from the containers after filling. Once the full container has been sealed, the inert gas fills the headspace, thereby protecting both the contents and the plastic material against adverse chemical reactions. It also prevents pressure loss in the container, which would occur in the event of an oxygen reaction.

Romania: Clean water everywhere

‘Outdoor’ is a megatrend – you get well over two billion hits if you Google this term. People want to get outdoors. And more and more of them want to go where there is no electricity or clean water. Or where it is best not to drink the tap water. The Swiss Katadyn Group specialises in the manufacture of various water purification systems. The larger ones, for example, can be used for the provision of emergency supplies to disaster areas, while the smallest units fit into a trekking rucksack, providing hikers with safe refreshment wherever they are. One of Katadyn’s production facilities is in the Romanian city of Brasov. The plant uses oxygen, nitrogen and argon from Messer for its cutting and welding operations.

Katadyn water treatment systems can fit in a hiker’s backpack to offer safe refreshment wherever the trek may lead.

Romania: Classic cars

The Oldtimer Studio in Moara Vläsiei started out as a workshop where friends would get together to revamp and repair their own classic cars. This shared enjoyment of working with beautiful historic vehicles led to the formation of a highly professional company which soon became well known beyond Romania’s borders. The vintage car specialists use gases from Messer in their restoration work, including Ferroline C18, acetylene, oxygen, CO2 and Argon 4.8. for cutting and welding.

Germany: Beer pipeline for heavy metal fans

At the largest metal festival in the world, “Wacken Open Air” (W:O:A), the beer flows freely every year. The festival’s latest occasion, in August 2017, saw an underground beer pipeline laid for the first time. Seven kilometres long, it supplied some 75,000 head-bangers with over 400,000 litres of the amber nectar. The pipeline was fed by 25,000-litre beer trucks. Our Gourmet CO2 MegaPack cylinder bundles were connected directly to the trucks. Via high-speed taps, they ensured that six beers could be poured every six seconds.

Spain: Welding robots and mould testing

Gedia España’s plant in Santa Margarida i els Monjos near Barcelona manufactures shock absorbers, bumpers, dashboards and other components for the automotive industry, which is currently seeing good growth rates in Spain. Messer supplies argon, Ferroline, Inoxline and carbon dioxide for the welding robots as well as liquid nitrogen for testing the casting moulds.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Messer logo way up high

Never has our company logo been so close to space: Messer BH Gas supported a team of young enthusiasts in their quest to find out how far a helium-filled HAB (High Altitude Balloon) could move away from the Earth and send back photos. Our company in Bosnia-Herzegovina donated the necessary helium that carried the HAB, equipped with four cameras, to a height of 33.4 kilometres. The flight was launched from Mount Trebevic near Sarajevo and took 158 minutes. The box attached to the balloon, which contained the cameras and bore the Messer logo, was later found 47 kilometres as the crow flies from the launch site. Effort rewarded: Impressive photographs and video recordings.

Gases and applications for all sectors of industry

France: ENGIE and Messer team up for sustainable transport of road freight

On the occasion of the opening of an ENGIE filling station in La Courneuve in April 2017, the ENGIE subsidiary GNVERT, which specialises in the distribution of alternative fuels, and Messer announced their future cooperation. Within the framework of the partnership, the two companies intend to develop environmentally friendly solutions for use in refrigerated transport. At the new ENGIE station in La Courneuve, Messer operates a liquid nitrogen tank farm for trucks, transporters and semi-trailers equipped with cryotechnical cooling units. Operated with liquid nitrogen, the cooling units are an innovative, efficient solution that meets the new requirements in urban freight transport. This form of transport is increasingly responsible for air and noise pollution in city centres. The liquid nitrogen-based refrigeration technology is noiseless and environmentally friendly because it is free of emissions of particulate matter, nitric oxide and CO2. This is why it presents the logistics industry an opportunity to deliver goods without harassing local residents, without pollution and without interrupting the cooling chain, even at night. Used in connection with vehicles that run on natural gas or biogas, cryotechnical cooling units for the transport sector in urban areas represent an alternative to the diesel engine. Plans envision replicating this model at many other ENGIE filling stations.

At the end of July 2017, we successfully certified the first EcoLIN filling station for liquid nitrogen in La Courneuve, France. Beforehand, nine months were spent on planning and construction as well as testing the facility. Certification was carried out in accordance with MID (Measuring Instruments Directive). This directive is applicable within the EU where measuring instruments – in this case, a liquid nitrogen flowmeter – as well as their measurement results are used in customer invoicing.

The hypermarket in Rungis, in the south of Paris, is visited by more than 26,000 trucks a day. A large proportion of them are refrigerated trucks that make deliveries in Paris and the surrounding area. In view of the ban on diesel vehicles that is due to come into effect in Paris in 2020, many haulage firms here are interested in alternative solutions that will help them secure their business. Messer has set up a demo station at the Rungis site and is providing support to the first companies testing this alternative refrigeration technology. Since traffic in Paris is a dominant source of noise – as it is in all other urban centres – and people generally find it disturbing, this project will benefit people living next to the hypermarket and near the busier access roads by reducing noise emissions.

At the new ENGIE filling station, Messer operates a liquid nitrogen tank farm for trucks equipped with cryotechnical cooling units.

Spain: EcoLIN market launch

At the beginning of October 2017 we presented our EcoLIN project at the international chemicals exhibition “Expoquimia” in Barcelona. The aim of our presence in the exhibition area “Smart Chemistry-Smart Future”, under the direction of the Spanish Business Association of the Chemical Industry (FEIQUE), was to publicise the advantages of EcoLIN in the Spanish market. The background to this is that within the C40 Climate Protection Network several cities, including Madrid, have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As of 2025 Madrid will be banning diesel powered vehicles from the city centre area.

Spain: Oxygen for more efficient casting

The Funosa foundry in Ódena, one of the largest in Spain, has introduced Messer’s Oxijet technology in its production operations. A trial period had previously been successfully completed in 2016. The Oxijet process involves blowing oxygen into a furnace. This increases the process temperature, which in turn reduces fossil fuel consumption and boosts furnace efficiency. Messer has installed the necessary equipment and is supplying the liquid oxygen. Funosa produces grey and nodular castings weighing from a few grams to 100 kilograms for customers in various branches of industry.

The Oxijet process reduces consumption of fossil fuels and improves furnace efficiency.

Czech Republic: Cryogenic zinc deburring

Last December, the Beneš a Lát foundry became the first company in the Czech Republic to use a cryogenic process to deburr zinc pressure-die castings. Messer is supplying the foundry with the liquid nitrogen required for the process. The products are mainly intended for the automotive and electronics industries.

Germany: Nitrogen monoxide therapy

Messer has teamed up with SALVIA medical, a company specialising in the manufacture and servicing of respirators, to offer a service package for therapy involving the use of inhalative nitrogen monoxide (NO) as a medicinal product. NO therapy is used in intensive care in connection with clinical ventilation. This involves the use of special metering and monitoring equipment.

Slovakia: Nitrogen averts risk of explosion at ethylene plant

Messer supplied oil company Slovnaft with nitrogen last autumn while the latter was carrying out maintenance work on its ethylene plant at the Bratislava refinery. Considerable quantities of the gas were fed in during shutdown and recommissioning to eliminate any risk of explosion. The Messer tankers drove up at two-and-a-half-hour intervals to ensure an uninterrupted supply of gas. In addition, joint venture Messer Slovnaft’s million-litre-capacity nitrogen tank was used as a buffer. The nitrogen was delivered in a cryogenic liquid state and heated with an electric heating element at a temperature of 120 to 200 degrees Celsius to facilitate sufficiently rapid evaporation.

Slovenia: Multiple energy use

Carbon dioxide from Messer is helping Celje hospital save energy. A combined heat and power trigeneration system is in operation there. In addition, the surplus heat generated in the summer months is used to operate an absorption refrigerating unit. This unit uses water as a coolant. The water is continuously enriched with carbon dioxide to keep its pH value in the desired range.

Germany: Nitrogen for rubber deflashing

W. Kerspe, a rubber and silicone factory in Wipperfürth, produces more than 4,000 different products, mainly for the electrical and automotive industries. The products range from extremely small moulded parts with a diameter of five millimetres to 140-cm-long windscreen wipers or power distribution boxes weighing 20kg. Kerspe uses nitrogen from Messer to deflash the rubber mouldings after production. As the cryogenic gas cools the rubber parts, the thin flash becomes hard and brittle. It is then blasted with small plastic pellets and breaks off cleanly. After deflashing, no further rework needs to be carried out on the mouldings.

Spain: All-round gas supply for waterworks

The Consorci d’Aigües de Tarragona (CAT) water treatment plant purifies water from the river Ebro. It supplies 85 per cent of the population of Tarragona province as well as many industrial firms with drinking water. Messer has been supplying the plant with liquid carbon dioxide for more than ten years and once again won the gas supply contract at the end of 2016 for supply in 2017. CAT uses liquid carbon dioxide to adjust the pH in the drinking water treatment process. Since January 2017, Messer has also been supplying liquid oxygen for ozone production in the plant’s own facility. The ozone gets rid of undesirable constituents in the untreated water by means of oxidation. In addition, the plant’s laboratory carries out analyses using specialty gases from Messer. The liquid nitrogen supplied in dewars is used to freeze water samples.

France: Oxyfuel fuels cement production

At one of its locations in France, LafargeHolcim uses oxyfuel technology by Messer in its cement clinker production. In this process, the raw materials – mainly limestone and clay – are heated to very high temperatures in rotary kilns. With oxyfuel, pure oxygen is used to make combustion with alternative fuels more efficient. This allows the target temperature to be reached with considerably less primary fuel consumption and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. In addition, oxyfuel may also enhance product quality.

Czech Republic: Gases for tank production

The customer is also a supplier: Chart Ferox in Decin supplies Messer with storage tanks for liquid gases. The manufacture of these tanks in turn involves the use of liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide – gases that Messer supplies to the customer-supplier’s site in the north of the country. Chart Ferox is part of Chart Industries, a US corporation, and specialises in the manufacture of cryogenic equipment. This also includes systems and facilities for storing and distributing liquid natural gas.

The employees of Messer in the Czech Republic were in good spirits during their visit to the Chart Ferox site, in spite of the inclement weather.

Albania: Seafood cooled by dry ice

Fish Land, a restaurant in the capital Tirana, uses dry ice from Messer to cool freshly caught seafood in the kitchen and when serving it to customers. The solid CO2 doesn’t melt, it sublimes – in other words it changes directly from a solid to a gas. In contrast to ice, the gas contains no microbes – besides which it is dry and a very effective coolant. Customers are treated to an additional aesthetic experience when the food is served since the process of sublimation involves water droplets condensing out of the air, producing the characteristic mist. Meanwhile, the fresh seafood remains healthy and appetising to look at.

Food preparation using cryogenic gases presents new culinary opportunities.

Serbia: Oils need N2 und H2

Dijamant Zrenjanin, the largest Serbian producer of cooking oil, uses nitrogen from Messer to protect the quality of its products. During the bottling process, the gas is introduced into the PET bottles in liquid form. It is also injected into the headspace of storage tanks in gaseous form. In both cases, it prevents the oil from turning rancid as a result of oxidation. Dijamant Zrenjanin produces sunflower oil from local oilseed. The company’s product range also includes olive, pumpkin seed and palm oil as well as margarine, mayonnaise, sauces and dressings. Since May 2017, Messer has also been supplying hydrogen for the purpose of oil and fat hydrogenation. This process involves the conversion of liquid vegetable oils into solid or semi-solid fats such as margarine. Before that, Dijamant produced its own hydrogen in-house using an electrolysis process. Thanks to the fact that the firm is now being supplied by Messer, safety levels at the plant have been significantly improved and Serbia’s last electrolysis plant has been decommissioned.

Slovenia: Hydrogen chloride for super fleece

Messer supplies hydrogen chloride (HCl) to smartMELAMINE in cooperation with GHC.
The company is a joint venture between Slovenian firm Melamin and OMPG, a Rudolstadt-based company carrying out material testing of textiles and plastics. It operates the world’s first melamine fleece production facility in Kočevje. One of the remarkable features of the fleece material is its particularly effective sound and heat insulation. It is resistant to high temperatures, does not burn or melt, and is chemically stable and UV-resistant. The material is suitable for protective clothing and can also be used for insulation, for instance in the automotive and construction industries. The production of melamine requires the use of hydrochloric acid as a catalyst. The hydrogen chloride is transported in thousand-litre drums, which are enclosed in a container for additional protection. Besides the chemical, Messer and GHC have also supplied the equipment for automatic HCl dosing and for drum handling as well as a leak-detection system. The developmental groundwork for the production of the new material was carried out by the Thuringian Institute of Textile and Plastics Research (TITK) in Rudolstadt.

Melamine fleece production is largely automated.

China: Messer supplies gases in Changshou Chemical Park in Chongqing

Messer has concluded two new pipeline gas supply contracts in the Chinese city of Chongqing. The new customers are a chemical company and a transformer manufacturer. The gas-supply contract between Messer and the chemical company Chongqing Feihua Environmental Science & Technology (FEST) was concluded after many rounds of negotiations. The company has been getting oxygen, nitrogen and purified air from Messer since mid-2017. The gases are supplied conveniently and safely through a pipeline system since both parties are located right next to each other in the chemical park. The gases are being used in the production of chlorine gas, which FEST supplies to another neighbour, BASF, as a raw material for the production of hydrogen chloride.

Messer has gained another new customer in the form of Wangbian. The transformer manufacturer, who is also based at the chemical park site, gets gaseous nitrogen from Messer.

Since mid-2017, the industrial gases specialist Messer has supplied new customers in the Changshou Chemical Park in Chongqing, China, with gases via a pipeline

China: Carbon dioxide replaces sulphuric acid

The conglomerate Mizuda uses carbon dioxide from Messer in the treatment of alkaline wastewater. The gas facilitates environmentally friendly and efficient neutralisation. Mizuda is one of the leading private companies in Zhejiang province in eastern China. The conglomerate, which was founded in 1993, is active in a number of areas, in particular waste management and wastewater treatment, as well as green electricity generation and pharmaceuticals.

The company concluded a contract with Messer in 2017 for the supply of carbon dioxide. The gas is used to neutralise alkaline wastewater. The high pH of such wastewater has to be neutralised through the addition of an acid so that it can undergo further treatment or be discharged into the sewerage system. Mizuda had previously been using sulphuric acid for this purpose. However, elaborate safety measures are required when handling sulphuric acid: its use in wastewater treatment is not only expensive, but also leads to the formation of odour-intensive hydrogen sulphide as well as mineral salts.

By contrast, carbon dioxide dissolves in water to form a weak acid – carbonic acid – without unwelcome side effects. This acid fulfils the task of neutralisation but is otherwise perfectly safe and harmless.

The system that has been installed at Mizuda for pH regulation with carbon dioxide has helped reduce production costs. As a result, the company plans to work with Messer on other projects.

In clarification tanks such as this, carbon dioxide is added to industrial wastewater to make precise adjustments to pH values.

China: Green light for OLED technology from China

BOE Optoelectronics Technology Co. began manufacturing OLED elements at its Chengdu site in China in 2017. The high-purity gases that are required for the production process are supplied by Messer. LED technology has until now been the dominant technology used in the displays of smartphones, tablets and wearables, as well as in TV and computer screens. In the meantime, however, organic LEDs (OLEDs) have developed to the point where they are about to supersede conventional light-emitting diodes. Thin film components of this kind offer technical advantages over their predecessors and are cheaper to produce. Up to now, worldwide production of these elements has been dominated primarily by South Korean companies. The Chinese company BOE Optoelectronics Technology Co. now wants to gain market share. At its site in Chengdu, the company has opened a facility for the development of the sixth generation of LTPS/AMOLED technology. Messer is in charge of providing the gases that this effort requires. BOE purchases nitrogen, oxygen, argon, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Messer BH Gas is authorised PepsiCo supplier  

Messer BH Gas, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been approved as a supplier of carbon dioxide to PepsiCo with effect from August 2017. This means that the Messer company satisfies the world-renowned soft drinks manufacturer’s exacting requirements within its CO2 production process as well as meeting the highest product quality standards demanded by the customer. Messer supplies CO2 as a food gas to the site operated by PepsiCo in Sarajevska Pivara. Messer’s approval is valid until 2020.

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