Linde Nippon Sanso (LNS), a company of The Linde Group, has signed an exclusive contract with Malibu GmbH & Co. KG in Bielefeld, Germany, to supply all of the gases needed to make photovoltaic modules and on-site gas and chemical management services.

The newly announced long term contract comprises of the over-the-fence supply of nitrogen, hydrogen, silane, nitrogen trifluoride, argon, and helium, with the turnkey installation also including a complete gas distribution network and gas leak detection systems.

In addition, Linde and Malibu have entered into a Joint Development Programme for the development of advanced gas technology to improve cell efficiency, throughput and yield.

Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, commented, “This contract shall prove to be strategically invaluable for Linde's fast growing photovoltaic business.”

“The joint development programme will allow us to further develop our gas technology and to contribute to reducing the cost per watt in solar cell production,” added Andreas Günther, President of Linde Nippon Sanso.

Using the innovative thin-film technology, Malibu will initially construct a 40 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic module production line in Osterweddingen, Germany, incorporating multi-layer cell technology for increased efficiency and as the plant is scheduled to increase in size, Linde will add on-site plants.

The electronic gases division of The Linde Group has also been in the headlines recently, as Linde Electronics was named a recipient of the Intel Corporation’s 2007 Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award for outstanding performance in providing products and services deemed essential to Intel’s success.

The company is awarded for its efforts supplying Intel with electronic gases and total materials management, with Linde Electronics and 34 additional PQS award winners honoured at a celebration in California on 18th March.

Noel Leeson, Head of Linde Electronics, “This is a significant event for Linde’s business. Intel sets the highest supplier benchmarks in the semiconductor industry; achievement of PQS shows that our relentless approach to quality is in line with these benchmarks. We are, however, mindful that PQS is a milestone, not a destination. We challenge ourselves every day to make sure we perform with the same dedication and attention to detail that won us the PQS award, using processes that ensure our products and services meet Intel’s strict reliability and repeatability standards.”

The PQS awards are part of Intel’s Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) process that encourages suppliers to strive for excellence and continuous improvement.