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Astrium and Air Liquide create EuroCryospace
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Mar 20, 2012

File image.

Astrium and Air Liquide have announced the creation of a European strategic partnership called EuroCryospace. It is an extension of Cryospace, which was set up 25 years ago to develop and manufacture Ariane cryogenic fuel tanks. EuroCryospace will be focused on the development and manufacture of cryogenic fuel tanks, in particular the cryogenic fuel tank for the upper stage of the Ariane 5 ME.

The Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (ME) programme, which was approved by the European Space Agency's (ESA) at its 2008 Ministerial Council meeting, sets out to respond to the demands of the market by upgrading the Ariane 5 launcher, taking its capacity beyond that of the current Ariane 5 ECA and Ariane 5 ES. Further development phases should be approved at the next ESA Ministerial Council meeting, scheduled for the end of 2012.

The partnership agreement will lead to a new plant being built in Bremen, Germany, and the creation of around 40 jobs during the production phase. Located close to Bremen Airport, the site of the future factory was purchased last December, and the development and manufacturing plant should be operational by mid-2013, with the first fuel tanks delivered in 2014.

Through Cryospace Astrium, Europe's leading space technology company, and Air Liquide have worked together successfully for nearly 25 years.

Astrium, as prime contractor for the development of the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (ME) project, and Air Liquide, a long-standing partner in the European space programme, are both keen to continue jointly developing their space activities in the Ariane programme. In doing so, they will seek to respond to the latest demands from industry, and this long-term commitment will enable the development the necessary expertise to respond to future requirements.

Astrium Space Transportation CEO and Astrium Executive Committee member Alain Charmeau said: "With the creation of EuroCryospace, Astrium will continue with its ongoing research into optimizing industrial construction processes in Europe. In pooling the expertise of both companies and placing the production site at the very core of the integration chain, this new venture will help reduce the costs of the Ariane launcher."

Francois Darchis, Air Liquide Executive Committee member and the company's Head of Future Technologies, said: "For Air Liquide, the creation of EuroCryospace represents an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the space industry.

The Group, which has made its capabilities and technologies available to the European space program since the creation of Ariane, also intends to contribute to the development of new launchers with cryogenic propulsion, in partnership with Astrium."

Announced at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in October 2010, the creation of the two joint ventures is now finalised.

EuroCryospace is a French GIE (Groupement d'Interet Economique - Economic Interest Grouping) responsible for the design, the development, the marketing and the qualification of cryogenic tanks.

EuroCryospace Deutschland is a European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) based in Bremen whose purpose is the production of the cryogenic tanks of the upper stage of Ariane 5 ME.

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