The worldwide demand for next-generation flat panel displays is booming, driven by the increasing popularity of smart phones and tablets as well as ultra-high-definition screens.
China has now become the largest consumer market for electronics goods in the world. In the recent years, several manufacturers have built state-of-the-art flat panel display fabs to meet local and overseas demand.
Air Liquide has been awarded two major long-term contracts by BOE Technology Group in China, to supply ultra-pure carrier molecules to its two latest cutting-edge flat panel display fabs. These plants will both manufacture large numbers of advanced flat panel displays. The first plant (called BOE Ordos G5.5 AMOLED fab) will be based in Ordos, Inner-Mongolia and the other plant (called BOE Hefei G8.5 TFT-LCD fab) in Hefei, Anhui province.
These contracts are the 20th and 21st long-term supply agreements signed by Air Liquide Group in the flat panel display industry in Asia. The total ultra-pure nitrogen newly contracted will amount to 50,000 Nm3/h. This is the largest investment ever made by Air Liquide in China for a client in this sector.
The new BOE fab in Ordos will be commissioned in late 2013, and will produce small and medium-sized advanced LTPS & AMOLED displays for mobile devices on Generation 5.5 size glasses. Air Liquide will invest in a large on-site generator to produce ultra-high purity nitrogen and in bulk gases (oxygen, argon and hydrogen) supply infrastructure.
For the BOE fab in Hefei, located near the BOE Hefei G6 fab already supplied by Air Liquide, those same molecules will be supplied by pipeline from Air Liquide facilities, located in Hefei. This fab will be commissioned in early 2014 and will produce displays on Generation 8.5 size glasses. Air Liquide will also invest in the necessary back-up infrastructure for both sites.
Founded in 1993, BOE has become the largest flat panel display manufacturer in China. It also holds more than 9,000 applicable patents and ranks fifth in term of shipment around the world.
Mr Liu Xiaodong, Chief Operating Officer of BOE Technology group, commented, “We are pleased to have selected Air Liquide as our partner for our new projects in Hefei and in Ordos. Air Liquide has shown a strong understanding of our needs and offered us competitive solutions that will provide good value for our operations. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Air Liquide and to benefiting from its worldwide capabilities.”
Jean-Marc de Royere, Asia Pacific Vice President and member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, said, “We are honored by this long-term partnership and the confidence placed in Air Liquide by BOE for their latest cutting-edge display fabs.”
“These new contracts, following those signed by Air Liquide to supply BOE sites in Beijing (G5 fab), in Chengdu (G4.5 fab) and in Hefei (G6 fab), reinforce our position in the fast-growing flat panel industry in China and advanced display technologies in Asia, and affirm the value and competitiveness of our offer. ”