Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, has today announced that it has been awarded an exclusive contract to supply high purity gases to Italy’s first thin-film solar module manufacturing plant.

The Moncada Energy Group s.r.l., a leading private producer of renewable energy in Italy, is building the plant in Campofranco (Sicily) and chose Linde for its essential gases supply.

Under the agreement, Linde Gas Italia will provide Moncada with turnkey installation of the plant’s bulk and specialty gases supply systems.

On an ongoing basis, it will also deliver nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2), silane (SiH4) and chamber cleaning gases which are essential to the production of thin-film solar cells.

“Linde Gas Italia is excited to partner with Moncada to expand Italy's growing infrastructure of renewable energy installations,” explained Fabrizio Elia, CEO of Linde Gas Italia.

“Our collaboration with Moncada echoes our commitment to deliver innovative environmentally friendly processes, and it also builds on our aim to make solar energy more affordable for mass consumption – at par with the grid.”

Proven capability
Linde was selected based on its ‘proven supply capability and strong global market position’ in turnkey solutions for thin-film solar module manufacturing.

Its established R&D programme, which is focused on reducing production costs and delivering environmentally friendly solutions, was also thought to be key to the contract win. Linde has developed a process that can replace the powerful greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) with pure fluorine (F2), which does not contribute to global warming.

Moncada’s thin-film PV plant in Campofranco, which becomes fully-operational in 2010, will produce large 5.7m2 single junction photovoltaic modules. The facility is expected to have an annual output capacity of 40MWp.

Salvatore Moncada, CEO and founder of Moncada Energy Group, added, “Moncada’s mission is to enable the environmentally friendly and cost-effective production and installation of solar panels. Linde’s proven technology expertise mirrors our ambition to quickly achieve grid parity in Italy.”

“Partnering with experts from The Linde Group and Applied Materials, Moncada is firmly placed to fuel the boom phase for renewable energy in Italy.”