Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for new industrial-gas-liquefaction plant

After roughly two years of construction, SOL S.p.A., an Italian industrial-gas company, has officially opened its new facility for liquefying industrial gases at Industriepark Höchst. The plant is being managed and operated by Infraserv Höchst.

SOL spent around € 20 million to construct the plant and a tank farm. The facility already started liquefying oxygen and nitrogen back in August. These products are used in several applications, including health care – both in hospitals and at home – and welding engineering.

“The new plant brings us a major step forward in expanding our presence in Europe,” said Aldo Romario Fumagalli, the SOL Group’s Chairman and Managing Director, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “As far as its industrial and technological status is concerned, Germany is an innovative market and, along with France, represents our second most important market in Europe.”

Infraserv’s Managing Director Roland Mohr also welcomed SOL’s decision to locate at Industriepark Höchst: “SOL is a multinational company with an excellent positioning in the market. It fits perfectly with the community of manufacturing and research companies at Industriepark Höchst. As a result, both SOL and Infraserv Höchst can leverage substantial synergies.” 

Infraserv Höchst to operate the new facility

SOL built the plant, and Infraserv Höchst will now operate and manage it. The operator of the 4.6-km² industrial park will also be supplying the plant with raw materials and maintaining the underlying infrastructure. Infraserv Höchst already operates an air-separation plant near the SOL facility 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 its staff will also be managed from there,” said Heinrich Lienkamp, the project manager at Infraserv Höchst. “In short, the close proximity offers a host of benefits, including our ability to supply materials right through our pipeline network.” 

The production facility has been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. A liquefaction circuit liquefies the oxygen and nitrogen by cooling the gases 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 supplies the ultra-pure technical gases it produces in Industriepark Höchst to 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 health care.

The excellent environment and infrastructure at Industriepark Höchst were fundamental reasons why SOL chose to set up its production site in the park, noted Aldo Romario Fumagalli. He had also been impressed by Infraserv's portfolio of high-quality services: “Infraserv Höchst is a strong partner who can help us shore up our competitive position and successfully reach our goal of supplying the German and Central European market with highly advanced services for the industrial and medical sectors.”