Air Liquide is responding to Asia's semiconductor market's strong demand for large volumes of ultra high purity gases by signing two long-term contracts.

The gas giant has signed a 10-year contract with South Korean Hynix, which has a strong position in the semiconductor market. Air Liquide will provide ultra pure nitrogen through two dedicated on-site generators and one nitrogen liquefier to its new 300 mm fab plant located in Icheon, 40km south of Seoul.

In China, Air Liquide has signed a 15 year carrier gas agreement contract with the Hynix-STMicroelectronics joint-venture at its new manufacturing facility at Wuxi New District, Jiangsu Province, 100 kilometers of Shanghai.

Hynix-STMicroelectronics has started this year in China its first twin fabs which manufacture DRAM and NAND flash memories on 200 mm wafers and 300 mm wafers (the new size which allows more chips to be produced in each wafer).

Air Liquide China will supply ultra pure nitrogen, oxygen, argon, hydrogen, helium and compressed air to the Hynix-ST fabs.

Chief procurement officer M.C. Kim of Hynix Semiconductor, said: $quot;We are pleased with our long term partnership with Air Liquide which has already supported our projects in South Korea, USA and now also in China.

$quot;The additional plant in South Korea is further proof of the confidence Hynix has in the Air Liquide group for the supply of gases for its operation.$quot;

Christophe Fontaine, Air Liquide Electronics vice president, continued: $quot;We are very excited at the opportunity to bring our best technology and customized solutions to a leading company like Hynix at its new-cutting
edge fab in China and Korea.

$quot;Our knowledge of Hynix's requirements has been central. Our know-how, our global approach based on Hynix demands, and a competitively priced offer combined with our local presence and the technical partnership with KC Tech have been key success factors in this region of the world where Air Liquide is committed to reinforce its presence.$quot;