A maiden TFT-LCD project supported by the Chinese government sees one of the largest nitrogen generators installed in the country – and The Linde Group has been a major part of it.
Linde LienHwa (LLH) announced the opening of a major ultra-high purity gas plant at BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd’s (BOE) latest 8.5 generation TFT-LCD manufacturing facility in the Beijing Development Authority.
LLH is The Linde Group’s joint venture with LienHwa MiTAC Group of Taiwan, and the significant facility investment is part of the Chinese government’s first endorsed project aimed at boosting the country’s TFT-LCD industry.
Andrew Lau, General Manager of Linde LienHwa in China, said, “This new plant strengthens our position as a leading gas supplier for the electronics industry in China, and demonstrates the increasing demand for our gases from electronics manufacturers looking for the most technologically advanced, cost effective and environmentally sustainable solutions.”
The on-stream supply marks a significant milestone in the cooperation between LLH and BOE, a leading TFT-LCD panel manufacturer for televisions, mobile devices and display light products, and follows the 15-year bulk gas supply contract and electronic gas agreements signed in 2010 and 2011.
Very large volumes of ultra-high purity gases play a critical part in the manufacture of TFT-LCD technologies. They are used to create the microscopic thin-film transistors required to control each of the thousands of pixels that make up the visible image.
The new facility developed by LLH consists of an installation of the plant’s bulk gases supply systems, including on-site nitrogen plants including one SPECTRA-N 30,000 series ultra-high purity nitrogen generator, the biggest of its type in China. This allows the supply of 30,000Nm3/hour of nitrogen via an underground pipeline. LLH has also constructed high capacity liquid nitrogen storage tanks and storage and supply systems for other gases on the site, including oxygen, hydrogen and argon.
Development in China
The growing local demand has made China a preferred manufacturing destination for TFT-LCD technologies, supported by several initiatives by the Chinese government. Government support also includes direct investment, which was a key driver for BOE in this installation.
The on-stream supply at BOE’s latest 8.5 generation TFT-LCD manufacturing facility reinforces Linde’s leading position in bulk gases supply business to Chinese electronics customers and expands LLH’s footprint in the Greater Beijing region where several significant growth opportunities are expected.
In Greater China, Linde has close to 4,000 employees working in around 50 subsidiaries and joint-ventures, and 150 operational plants in major industrial hubs across the region. Linde Greater China is headquartered in Shanghai.