Linde expands TFT-LCD footprint in China

22 May 2012

Linde LienHwa (LLH), The Linde Group’s joint venture with LienHwa MiTAC Group of Taiwan, has announced a significant long-term deal with Samsung Electronics…

The deal is to supply gases for its latest 8.5 generation TFT-LCD manufacturing plant in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), China. Industrial gases are essential to the production of transistors that control the pixels in LCD screens.

This major gas supply contract marks a further milestone in Linde’s continuing expansion in Asia and is strategically significant for Linde LienHwa’s position in eastern China. It also strengthens Linde’s position as a gas supplier for the electronics industry, demonstrating the increasing demand for the company’s gases and solutions from electronics manufacturers across the world. Linde has become the first choice gas supply partner for TFT-LCD manufacturing in China with substantial gas contracts in place with the three largest flat panel display manufacturers.

Very large volumes of ultra-high purity gases play a critical part in the manufacture of TFT-LCD screens. They are used to create the microscopic thin-film transistors (TFT) required to control each of the thousands of pixels that make up the visible image.

According to IHS iSuppli, global large panel area capacity is set to increase by 78% in the next four years, reaching 283 million square metres by 2015. In 2012 alone, the analyst specialist predicts a 30% growth in large panel area capacity globally, with an increase of 151% in China.

Under this agreement, Linde LienHwa will provide Samsung Electronics with a turnkey installation of the TFT-LCD plant’s bulk gases supply systems, with a gas-on-line date of the end of 2012. Linde LienHwa’s extensive scope includes the construction of a new on-site SPECTRA-N 30,000 series nitrogen generator supplying gas to Samsung via an underground pipeline. Overall investment is in the region of €50 million. This will double Linde LienHwa’s capacity in Suzhou Industrial Park and demonstrates the significant growth potential of this market.

“This new project significantly strengthens our industry references and reinforces our leading role in the TFT-LCD industry. The agreement with Samsung Electronics demonstrates our commitment to help our customers develop state of the art manufacturing solutions. It also shows we are confident about the growth of the electronics market in Asia,” said Andrew Lau, President and General Manager of Linde LienHwa China.

Peter Owen, Head of Linde’s Global Electronics business and Asia Joint Venture Management, concludes: “This significant contract is further acknowledgement of our global capability to supply and service leading TFT-LCD manufacturers with a full portfolio of gases and equipment. We look forward to building a strong working relationship with Samsung Electronics at their Suzhou site.”

Samsung’s new panel facility is constructed by Suzhou Samsung LCD (SSL). SSL was established in April 2011 as a joint venture between Samsung, SIP and TCL Corporation. SIP is expected to become China’s largest advanced LCD production cluster.

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