Multiple contracts for Photovoltaic industry in Asia and Europe

October 21, 2008

With annual growth rates of more than 35%, the photovoltaic industry is one of the world’s booming business sectors. Combined photovoltaic installations are expected to contribute approximately 5% of the worldwide electricity generation by 2020. The production of solar cells requires large quantities of ultra-pure gases.

Air Liquide has just concluded multiple major turnkey gas supply contracts with some of the largest solar cell manufacturers in the world, confirming its position as the number one gas supplier to this fast-growing industry. These contracts complement Air Liquide’s existing leadership in the PV market in Germany and Japan.

To fulfill these new long-term contracts, Air Liquide will invest over €20 million to supply nitrogen and hydrogen from on-site generators as well as bulk mono-silane and other specialty gases. Air Liquide will construct and manage the systems to safely distribute the products to these new customers.

In Eastern China, Air Liquide will provide a turnkey gas supply solution, consisting of carrier gases, specialty gases and turnkey equipment installation, to one of the largest new Thin Film Photovoltaic production facilities in the world, with target production of over 300 Megawatt peak.

In Greece, Helio Sphera has chosen Air Liquide for the complete gas supply needs of its new Thin Film Photovoltaic manufacturing site, the largest such facility to be built in the region. The production capacity of this site will exceed 60 Megawatt peak.

In the Philippines, Air Liquide has extended its relationship with Sunpower, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, by signing a contract for expanded total gas supply and services for its recent crystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic 300 Megawatt peak Fab2 investment. These services include carrier gases, specialty gases, on-site gas management, and turnkey gas equipment.

Francisco Martins, Air Liquide’s Vice-President, Electronics, declared: “We are very proud to continue our successful partnership with the PV industry manufacturers as they expand in China, India, Japan, South-East Asia, Europe and North America, setting up new long-term agreements with these key customers. These successes also illustrate Air Liquide’s commitment to develop leading edge technologies and high value-added solutions for customers, confirming its position as the leading supplier of industrial gases for the photovoltaic industry. High-tech is one of the Group’s key growth drivers.”