Air Products has commissioned a new plant in Chongqing City, western China, to support the country’s burgeoning electronics manufacturing industry.
The site will supply China’s highest-generation, most efficient thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) fab, which is owned and operated by Chongqing HKC Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd. and is now in operation.
Air Products will supply the North Pacific rim outfit with high-quality bulk gases, including high-purity nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), hydrogen (H2), argon (Ar) and helium (He), for its production of TFT-LCD panels.
Saw Choon Seong, China President, Industrial Gases, highlighted, “The new plant further expands our capacity to meet the growing needs in Chongqing and western China with the region taking off as a major high-technology manufacturing base in the country.”
The industrial gas giant said it was “committed to supporting the growth of domestic companies in the high-end manufacturing sectors and regional industrial restructuring” as mandated by China’s 13th Five-Year-Plan released last year.
Air Products has been a leading industrial gases supplier to the global electronics industry for over 40 years and has been investing in building and strengthening its local production capability and supply position in China to support the region’s industrial development.
Air Products has built more than a dozen air separation units (ASUs) in the country since the late 1980s, including clinching one of its largest global onsite projects – a four-train ASU complex in Yulin city. Each unit produces 3,000 tonnes per day (tpd) of O2 and supplies Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical Co., Ltd’s coal to chemical plant.
In Xian, the Tier One player is supplying an advanced fab owned by a leading global semiconductor company as well as serving the local market. Further investment saw the company construct plants in the Nanjing Pukou Economic Development Zone in eastern China last year and in the Fujian (Jinjiang) Integrated Circuit Industrial Park in southern China to serve increasing gas demands.
This development reaffirms Air Products’ commitment to the Chinese gases business after its unsuccessful acquisition of Yingde Gases Group. The company held an estimated market share of approximately 9% of the country’s industrial gas market in 2015, according to gasworld Business Intelligence.