SOL invests in production plant for technical gases
Foundation preparations and pile-driving work to begin on November 6, 2007
Preparations for a new production plant in Industriepark Höchst are about to begin: SOL S.p.A., an Italian manufacturer of medicinal and technical gases, is investing some € 15 million in a facility that will liquefy oxygen and nitrogen. It is also building a tank farm to store the gases.
The groundwork is beginning on November 6 at the work site in the southern section of Industriepark Höchst. The plant's foundation will rest on piles driven up to 20 meters deep into the earth. If wind conditions are unfavorable, the pile-driving work may be audible beyond the park's western borders. The groundwork will be performed during the approved hours and should be completed by November 16.
Infraserv Höchst to operate the new facility
The facility will be owned by SOL, but operated and managed by Infraserv Höchst. The site operator's other duties include supplying the facility with raw materials and maintaining the underlying infrastructure. Infraserv Höchst already operates near the SOL facility an air-separation plant that produces technical gases for park tenants and external customers. "The SOL facility will receive its gaseous nitrogen and oxygen from our air-separation plant, and will also be managed from there. In short, the close proximity offers a host of benefits, including our ability to supply materials right through our pipeline network," said Heinrich Lienkamp, the project manager at Infraserv Höchst.
The production facility will be outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. A liquefaction circuit will liquefy the oxygen and nitrogen by cooling them down to their boiling points. This process reduces the gases' volume by a factor of 700 to 800 so they can be stored and transported in compressed gas cylinders at temperatures as low as -197° Celsius.
Excellent production environment at Industriepark Höchst
SOL plans to supply the high-purity technical gases it produces in Industriepark Höchst to a wide range of users including for example food producers and medical companies in Germany and neighboring countries. These sectors need nitrogen and oxygen for many applications, including using nitrogen for freezing, cooling or packing food in protective wrapping. And pure oxygen is commonly used in stationary and portable respiratory devices for home health care.
The excellent environment and infrastructure in Industriepark Höchst were fundamental reasons why SOL chose to set up its production site in the park, noted Aldo Fumagalli Romario, president and managing director of SOL in Italy. He was also impressed by Infraserv's portfolio of high-quality services: "With Infraserv Höchst we have a strong partner with whom we can increase our competitiveness in supplying the German and Central European market with highly qualified services for the industrial and medical sectors." Infraserv managing director Roland Mohr also welcomed the addition to the industrial park. "We’re pleased to have attracted SOL, a successful, established company with an international reach," he said. "SOL, in our view, fits superbly into the network of production and research companies here, which can result in synergies for both SOL and Infraserv."
Founded in 1927, SOL S.p.A. is headquartered in Monza, Italy, and listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. It has about 1,600 employees and offices in 15 European countries. The SOL Group specializes in the production of industrial and medicinal gases and related applications. The gases are used in industrial, civil and health care applications in hospitals as well as homes. SOL posted revenues of € 393 million in 2006.
SOL has been active for 10 years in Germany, where it has two subsidiaries: T.M.G. (Technische und Medizinische Gase), which produces medicinal and technical gases in the towns of Krefeld and Gersthofen, and VIVISOL Deutschland, which supplies, among others, services and medicinal devices for oxygen and ventilo-therapy via a Germany-wide network.
Infraserv Höchst operates advanced technical infrastructure for the chemical, pharmaceutical and related process industries. It is the Frankfurt-based operator of Industriepark Höchst. Infraserv GmbH & Höchst KG supplies companies with energies and media, disposes of various wastes, and provides business space and infrastructure. Its service portfolio ranges from environmental, security and safety service all the way to health products, communication and IT. It also offers logistics services as well as training and continuing education. The wholly owned subsidiaries of the Infraserv Höchst Group include Infraserv Logistics, Provadis and Technion.
Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG has 1,900 employees and 128 trainees on its payrolls. The Infraserv Höchst Group has 2,700 employees and 159 trainees. In 2009, Infraserv Höchst and its subsidiaries generated just over € 1 billion in revenues.
The Industriepark Höchst is home to some 90 companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, basic and specialty chemicals, crop protection, food additives and services. Some 22,000 people come to work at the Industriepark Höchst. The site covers 460 hectares (1,375 acres); 50 hectares are still available for use. The companies in the Industrial Park invested just over € 600 million in the site in 2007.
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