Air Products has signed a contract with Anhui Sanan OptoElectronics Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Sanan OptoElectronics, to build two on-site ammonia (NH3) plants at Sanan’s new high brightness light emitting diode (LED) manufacturing facility in China.

The plants will be located at Sanan’s new facility in the Wuhu Economic and Technological Development Area, Anhui Province, China.

The new facilities, which will supply ammonia with state-of-the-art purity to Sanan, will also be the first and largest on-site specialty gas plants in the world.

Each plant Air Products is building will be capable of supplying 2,000 metric tons per year. Large volumes of NH3 are needed to provide the nitrogen source for the gallium nitride layers used in the manufacture of LEDs. Air Products currently supplies Sanan OptoElectronics’ two other LED facilities in China.

“We are pleased Sanan OptoElectronics chose Air Products for their high purity ammonia needs at Anhui,” said Corning Painter, Vice President and General Manager, Electronics, for Air Products.

“At these volumes, Air Products is the only company providing ammonia with the purity at the source necessary for LED production.”

It is gasworld's understanding that construction at the two plants is already underway and start-up is due in mid 2011.

LEDs are used in applications such as automotive and traffic signage and are displacing conventional lighting alternatives based on their ability to operate at reduced power, lower temperatures and with extended lifetimes. LEDs are also increasingly finding use as backlighting for televisions and displays.