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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 16, 2008
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Banking on Central and Eastern Europe
January 16, 2008   
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Dirk Fünfhausen, General Manager of Messer Polska Sp. z o.o., talks to Ewa Lipa.

The Messer Group is building a new plant in Rybnik, southern Poland; the foundation stone was laid Oct. 2 last year. What will the plant produce and who will its customers be?
The new plant will produce industrial gases: oxygen, nitrogen and argon. From the preliminary stage, the project has been designed so that the output meets medical and food quality standards, especially purity requirements. We are building a plant of a specific type. Customers will use its products in further production processes. Our gases and technologies will find applications in nearly all branches of industry. They will help increase productivity and improve the quality of products, thus serving to enhance the market position and competitive edge of our customers.

Apart from the medical sector, what other sectors will use the industrial gases made by Messer companies in Poland?
Customers of Messer Polska include leading Polish and international companies from various industries, including the food, metallurgy, automotive, chemical, mining and medical sectors. There is no single sector dominating our sales structure. This kind of diversification guarantees stable development for our company.

Since 2001 you have been taking part in the global chemical industry's Responsible Care initiative under which companies work to improve their health, safety and environmental performance. What does that mean in ecological terms?
For us, taking part in the program is above all an opportunity to improve our qualifications and skills and to enrich our knowledge in environmental management. Thanks to that, we have been able to even more effectively use raw materials and reduce waste and emissions. We treat the community we are operating in as an equal partner. Therefore, in our business operations, we fully take care of the fears and expectations of that community.

European Union enlargement has opened up markets in Central and Eastern Europe. How is this reflected in the Messer group's strategy?
Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most important markets in the Messer Group's development strategy. That is reflected in the way our investment budget is allocated. By 2011, the figure will be 450 million euros altogether, of which 300 million euros will be invested in Central and Eastern Europe.
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