Air Products has announced the signing of a turnkey gas supply contract, to provide on-site gases, liquid bulk gases, specialty gases and gas equipment to China’s Best Solar Hi Tech Co., Ltd.

Best Solar is building a new thin-film photovoltaic (PV) facility in the Wuzhong Economic Development Park in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

When the facility comes on-stream at its full capacity, it will have an annual solar module manufacturing capacity of 330MW. Air Products will be supplying an array of gases and services to cater for this production capacity.

The contract between Air Products and Best Solar includes the long-term supply of hydrogen, nitrogen and argon, and specialty gases such as silane, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and dopant gases. Air Products will also install and manage the bulk gas and specialty gas supply systems.

“We are proud to have Best Solar’s confidence in our supply capabilities, for what will be one of the world’s largest thin-film photovoltaic production facilities,” said Corning Painter, Vice President and General Manager of Global Electronics for Air Products.

“Our leadership position in the supply and delivery of the key materials for the PV market makes Air Products the safe and reliable choice for the growing PV industry.”

Best Solar's thin-film PV modules, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, will be manufactured in much the same way as thin-film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD). As one of the largest suppliers to the TFT-LCD industry, Air Products is ideally suited to supply the new facility.

The contract also represents another large investment in the burgeoning PV industry by Air Products.