Astrium and Air Liquide create EuroCryospace

12 March 2012

  • EuroCryospace is a European strategic partnership
  • The cryogenic fuel tank for the upper stage of the Ariane 5 ME launcher is to be manufactured at a new factory in Bremen, Germany
  • EuroCryospace is an extension of Cryospace, a joint venture created 25 years ago for the manufacture of Ariane fuel tanks.

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.”

François 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’Intérêt 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.


About Astrium

Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Astrium had a turnover close to € 5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.
Astrium is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment; Astrium Services for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.

Press contacts:

Grégory Gavroy
Media Relations France
Airbus Defence and Space
Tel.: +33 1 77 51 80 32
Fax: +33 1 77 51 80 80
Ralph Heinrich
Media Relations Germany
Airbus Defence and Space Germany
Tel.: +49 89 60 73 39 71
Fax: +49 89 60 78 53 39
Francisco Lechon
Media Relations Spain
Airbus Defence and Space Spain
Tel.: +34 91 5 86 37 41
Fax: +34 91 5 86 37 82
Jeremy Close
Media Relations UK
Astrium United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 1 438 77 3872


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