Consolidating Leadership in Photovoltaic Industry

May 27, 2009

Air Liquide becomes the main supplier to the three largest photovoltaic production sites worldwide.

In a period of significant consolidation, leading Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers continue to invest in new capacity to cope with the next phase of demand growth, expected during 2010.

In this context, Air Liquide significantly enhanced its leadership position by signing several new contracts since January 2009 with solar cell manufacturers in 5 countries and will invest globally €13 million to meet the needs of those customers.

Amongst those, Air Liquide became the partner of two of the largest solar science parks in the world, having a production capacity of more than 1,000 MW per year each:

In Singapore, Air Liquide will supply all carrier and specialty gases as well as on-site services to REC’s new Gigawatt wafer and solar cells production campus. This project is the largest Photovoltaic investment underway in South-East Asia, with a planned combined production of 1,500 MW pa. REC is the world leading supplier of Si materials to the PV industry with planned Poly-Si and Si wafers global capacity of more than 20,000 tons per year and 2,000 MW per year respectively.

In Wuxi, China, Air Liquide signed a contract to supply carrier gases to Suntech Gigawatt-size existing facilities. Suntech is the world’s second largest solar cell manufacturer with production capacity exceeding 1,000 MW pa.

Those two contracts, combined with the existing supply of the PV market leader Q-Cells in the biggest production site worldwide in Germany and also in Malaysia announced on 19 January 2009 make Air Liquide the number one partner of the 3 largest production sites in the world.

In parallel, multiple long-term supply contracts were awarded to Air Liquide by Bosch-Ersol for its new Thin Film plant in Erfurt (Germany) and by five new solar cell companies in Europe and Asia.

Francisco Martins, Vice-President World Business Line Electronics of the Air Liquide Group, declared: “We are pleased to be the chosen supplier of the three largest solar cells production campuses in the world. These new signatures with PV market leaders confirm the success of our solar global offer, reinforcing our number one position in a fast-changing industry. The photovoltaic activity is at the crossroads of Energy and the Environment, two growth drivers of the Air Liquide Group.”