Electronics in Asia: expansion of ultrapure monosilane production capacity

May 8, 2007

Silane (monosilane SiH4) is a material very widely used by semiconductor, flat panel display, and photovoltaic industries. This market is driven by strong growth of +20% per year. Air Liquide is the market leader with production capacity in Japan since 1987, in association with the Denka Group through Denal, its joint-venture company in Omi, 350 km from Tokyo.

Air Liquide and Denka have decided to launch a new phase of development with the expansion of the Denal plant to more than 500 tonnes per year capacity. This new step represents a total investment of more than 30 million euros. The unit will be operational by 2008, and will enable Air Liquide Electronics to respond to the growing demand for this product in USA, Europe, and throughout Asia.

This new investment in the fast growing Asian Electronics market is at the heart of the Group’s growth strategy. Japan Air Gases, a 100% Air Liquide entity, is a significant player in the Japanese market and also as a support for all of Asia. Over the past four years, this subsidiary has invested more than 300 million euros in order to accompany the development of its customers, with a strong acceleration in 2006.

Christophe Fontaine, Vice President Electronics Group declared: "With this key project, Air Liquide again demonstrates its commitment to manufacture ultrapure silane for its customers. This investment, as well as our Jumbo bulk silane offer, will enable us to confirm our world leadership in silane and specialty gases. Our global sales in specialty gases today amount to almost 250 million euros. Owning a production capacity is a key advantage in the monosilane market.

The Denka Group, of which DENKI KAGAKU KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA forms the central core, develops and provides a broad spectrum of materials centered on chemical products. Founded in 1915, the Denka Group is organized around four segments: organic materials, inorganic materials, electronics products, and functional materials and processed products. Its sales in 2006 totaled ¥307,923 million.

With 3,000 employees, Air Liquide Electronics recorded sales of 864 million euros in 2006. Air Liquide supplies ultra-pure gases, specialty gases, new molecules, related equipment and customized services. To enhance its proximity to the booming semiconductor market in Asia, the Electronics division management is based in Tokyo.