Further underlining the company's focus in Asia as a key growth driver, Air Liquide Electronics is already reporting several major successes in China, Vietnam and Singapore since the beginning of 2007 and a total investment of around €50m.

Asia is one of Air Liquide Electronics' key growth drivers, with 80 percent of the upcoming Fabs being commissioned in the region and 100 percent of the flat panel manufacturing industry.

The company has signed a 15 year contract in China with Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the largest and most advanced foundry in China, to supply on-site bulk carrier gases to its future Fab in the Wuhan East Lake high-tech development zone.

As well as this, Singapore Oxygen Air Liquide Pte Ltd (SOXAL) will provide another Total Gas and Chemical Management (TGCM) operation starting September 2007, for the new 300mm fab of the world's first silicon-on-insulator (SOI) manufacturer, Soitec.

SOXAL will also supply a new US manufacturer of memory devices with a complete range of carrier gases, including ultra-pure nitrogen, oxygen, argon, helium and hydrogen in 2008.

Christophe Fontaine, vice president of Electronics, Air Liquide Group, declared, $quot;We are very proud to provide and support our customers on a worldwide basis thanks to the diversity and the coverage of our offer. These latest successes have allowed Air Liquide to strengthen its leadership in this region and to increase our geographical presence in Asia.$quot;

Vietnam is currently emerging as a new location for semiconductors investments and in 2009, Air Liquide Electronics will also supply carrier gases to a new backend facility of one of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers in the southern region.