New xenon and krypton contracts for Space and Electronics customers

July 10, 2018

Air Liquide has signed several new multi-year contracts worth a total of more than €50 million, and started supplying xenon and krypton since the beginning of 2018 to the semiconductor and the satellite industries in three geographies: Europe, USA and Asia.

Air Liquide's customers benefit from the Group’s global logistics organization deployed in 30 countries, which enables the delivery of these high value-added molecules, extracted from air gases in the Group's large production facilities.

The semiconductor industry uses xenon or krypton in its new processes to produce high-end flash memories at a lower cost, supporting the increasing need to store and move massive quantities of data.

In the space industry, the all-electric propulsion satellites also use xenon. The all-electric propulsion is based on the energy produced by the satellite’s solar panels to accelerate and eject a gas (xenon) resulting in the motion of the satellite generated by the thrust. All-electric engines reduce the satellite’s weight by about 35%, greatly reducing launching  costs. In the coming years, at least half of the market is expected to adopt this technology.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee, supervising Innovation, said: "We are proud to have been chosen to supply high purity xenon and krypton to the semiconductor industry and the growing all-electric propulsion satellites market. As the world leader for xenon and krypton thanks to its expertise in cryogenic technologies and its ability to manage a global supply chain, Air Liquide provides a reliable value-added molecules supply to its customers, notably in the high-tech industry."

The Global Markets & Technologies (GM&T) World Business Unit delivers technological solutions (molecules, equipment and services) to support the new markets of energy transition, maritime logistics and deep tech, in order to accelerate Air Liquide sustainable growth. GM&T employs 1,800 people world-wide and generated a 2017 revenue of €372 million.