Air Liquide has revealed a number of customer contracts for specialty gas supply to photovoltaic (PV) production sites, continuing its blossoming relationship with this escalating industry.

With annual growth rates of more than 35%, the PV industry is one of the world’s booming business sectors and an industry Air Liquide is clearly keen to invest in.

The French gases major has just concluded multiple major turnkey gas supply contracts with some of the largest solar cell manufacturers in the world, confirming its well established position in this fast-growing industry.

The contracts complement Air Liquide’s existing leadership in the PV market in Germany and Japan.

The company is to invest over €20m to supply nitrogen and hydrogen from on-site generators as well as bulk mono-silane and other specialty gases.

Francisco Martins, Air Liquide’s Vice-President of Electronics, declared, “We are very proud to continue our successful partnership with the PV industry manufacturers as they expand in China, India, Japan, South-East Asia, Europe and North America, setting up new long-term agreements with these key customers.”

“These successes also illustrate Air Liquide’s commitment to develop leading edge technologies and high value-added solutions for customers, confirming its position as the leading supplier of industrial gases for the photovoltaic industry. High-tech is one of the group’s key growth drivers.”

Key commitments
In Eastern China, Air Liquide will provide a turnkey gas supply solution, consisting of carrier gases, specialty gases and turnkey equipment installation, to one of the largest new thin film photovoltaic production facilities in the world - with target production of over 300 Megawatt (MW) peak.

In Greece, Helio Sphera has chosen Air Liquide for the complete gas supply needs of its new thin film photovoltaic manufacturing site, the largest such facility to be built in the region. The production capacity of this site will exceed 60MW.

In the Philippines, the company has extended its relationship with Sunpower by signing a contract for expanded total gas supply and services for its recent crystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic 300MW peak Fab2 investment. These services include carrier gases, specialty gases, on-site gas management, and turnkey gas equipment.

Combined photovoltaic installations are expected to contribute approximately 5% of the worldwide electricity generation by 2020, with the production of solar cells requires large quantities of ultra-pure gases.