Already serving most major electronics manufacturers in China, Air Liquide Electronics has announced it will invest $15m in a state-of-the-art Electronics Materials Centre (EMC) in the Shanghai area.

The new centre will focus on Electronics Speciality Gases (ESG) activities, particularly for the purification and transfilling of materials used by semiconductor and Flat Panel Display (TFT-LCD) producers.

Christophe Fontaine, vice president Electronics of Air Liquide, commented, $quot;This is anew chapter for Air Liquide Electronics. Over the years, this investment will prove to be a reliable operational support for our customers in China and Asia able to offer very competitive materials.$quot;

The centre will be equipped with the most advanced technology for cylinder treatment and filling, laboratory and quality systems and will enhance Air Liquide's electronic activities in China and in the wider perspective, Asia.

With over 60 percent of the worldwide production of chips and 100 percent of flat screens, Asia is more than ever the global focal point for modern electronics, with the Shanghai region of China regarded by many as the new Silicon Valley of the 3rd millennium.

Air Liquide already has a substantial industrial gases footing in the region too, having entered an agreement to install a new Air Separation Unit in Dalian, China to supply gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and argon by pipeline to the new Dongbei Special Steel Group steelworks.