New Gas Contract for TFT-LCD Manufacturing Developments in China

Extending its reach into the Chinese thin-film display market, Linde LienHwa (LLH), a subsidiary of the technology company The Linde Group, today announced the award of a new gas contract by BOE Display Technology Co., Ltd.

Concurrently, LLH is further strengthening its commitment to China with the establishment of an ultra-high purity ammonia plant in Xiamen, Fujian province. These two developments build on the Company’s focus to cater to the needs of upcoming technology developments in TFT-LCD and LED manufacturing in China.

BOE Display Technology Co., Ltd. – a prominent supplier of thin-film displays and services – has awarded a long-term bulk gas supply contract to Linde LienHwa to feed the requirements of its new TFT-LCD plant in Beijing which, when fully ramped, will have the capacity to make 90,000 Generation 8.5 (5.7m2) panels per month. Under this agreement, LLH will provide BOE Technology with a turnkey installation of the plant’s bulk gases supply systems and ongoing delivery of up to 40,000Nm3/hr of ultra-high purity nitrogen including other bulk gases like hydrogen, argon and oxygen, essential in the manufacturing of thin-film displays.

As display manufacturers push the boundaries of thin-film technology to deliver vivid, life-like viewing experiences, there is an increasing need for highly-efficient and cost-effective technology for use in the manufacturing process. Playing its part as a technology partner, LLH will invest EUR 23 million in Beijing Development Authority, to build a Spectra-30,000 ultra-high purity nitrogen generator, the biggest of its type in China, and large capacity liquid nitrogen storage tanks, plus storage and supply systems for other gases.

Besides TFT-LCD sector, another emerging manufacturing sector is the increasing number of Taiwanese LED wafer manufacturers investing in China. A key driver of growth in LED display manufacturing in China is due to the Home Appliance Subsidy Program in Rural Areas, a Chinese initiative that is driving the mass adoption of LCD televisions in the country, with LEDs increasingly used as backlights. The initiative aims to improve the quality of farmers' lives, balance the country's urban and rural development, shift the emphasis of economic growth from exports to domestic demand and encourage manufacturers to design products which are suitable for rural use.

A common material used in both TFT-LCD and LED wafer manufacturing is Ammonia (NH3). To this end, LLH will construct an ultra-high purity ammonia plant in Xiamen, Fujian province in south-eastern China – which together with Linde’s on-site ammonia central supply scheme will help to reduce cost and increase supply reliability to customer sites in the region. The plant, scheduled to be operational by June 2010, will help service LLH’s recent wins with Chinese LED manufacturers.

“Linde LienHwa’s supply contracts with leading manufacturers of thin-film displays in China demonstrate customer confidence in Linde’s innovative gas technologies to optimise cost-performance ratios throughout the manufacturing process,” says Andy Cook, President of LLH China. “To further demonstrate Linde’s commitment and lead in technology for emerging market sectors, LLH has established an ultra-high purity ammonia plant in Xiamen, Fujian in order to create new opportunities of partnership for us in these emerging markets.”


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