Air Liquide starts its new operations in China for TFT-LCD manufacturers

June 11, 2009

Driven by growing demand, TFT-LCD’s manufacturing capacity in China has been experiencing a continued growth rate ranging between 20 to 30% per year. This trend is expected to continue during the coming years as result of coming upgrade cycles in display devices. Beijing Oriental Electronics Technology Group (BOE) and Tianma Microelectronics Co. Ltd rank among the world top TFT-LCD manufacturers.

Air Liquide and BOE recently signed a long-term supply agreement for BOE’s new 4.5-generation TFT-LCD fab in Chengdu high-tech industrial park, in the capital city of Sichuan Province. Under the terms of the agreement, Air Liquide will supply its global offer covering carrier gases (nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and argon), specialty gases, Total Gas Management and all equipment and installations related to gas supply. The decision made by BOE to choose Air Liquide’s global solution is the result of a long term partnership between both companies.

Tianma Microelectronics awarded Air Liquide the supply of all the carrier gases to its new 4.5-generation TFT-LCD project in Chengdu. This is the first time Air Liquide and Tianma enter into a partnership.

Following the signature of these two new contracts, Air Liquide will invest €25 million in an Air Separation Unit (ASU) to supply BOE, Tianma and the dynamic market of the Chengdu region.

Francisco Martins, Vice-President World Business Line Electronics of the Air Liquide Group, declared: “We are proud to serve the leading players of TFT-LCD in China and therefore reinforcing our position as market leader. This investment will allow our first foothold in Chengdu, one of the most important markets in the South West of China and, at the same time, illustrates Air Liquide’s commitment to contribute to the economic reconstruction of the Sichuan earthquake area. In the current economic context, High Tech and Emerging economies such as China are long-term growth drivers for the Group.”

Wang Jiaheng, Vice-President of BOE Group, added: “After fruitful discussion, we have decided to choose Air Liquide as our gas material partner of BOE Chengdu. Air Liquide has understood our needs and shown competitiveness. We look forward to good cooperation with Air Liquide and benefit from its worldwide capabilities.”

Beijing Oriental Electronics Technology Group (BOE)

Established in 1993, has been listed in Shenzhen Stock exchange since 1997. Since then, it has shifted its business from the traditional consumer electronics market to the communications, computer and digital product fields. Currently, BOE is the largest domestic and the world’s No. 9 largest TFT-LCD manufacturer, with a total revenue exceeding 10 billion Yuan in 2007. In 2007, BOE started to build a 4.5-generation TFT-LCD fab in Chengdu with a total investment of 3 billion Yuan.

Tianma Microelectronics Co. Ltd (Tianma)

Founded in 1983 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China, is primarily engaged in the manufacture and sale of liquide crystal displays (LCD) and liquid crystal modules (LCM). The company has established subsidiaries in Shanghai as well as in the United States, South Korea and Europe respectively. In July 2008, Tianma announced its new investment in Chengdu. It’s another 4.5-generation TFT-LCD fab with a total investment of 3 billion Yuan.