The Linde Group Signs Supply Agreements

Technology company The Linde Group has received three new multimillion-dollar contracts to capture more than 50% of the thin-film photovoltaic market in China. The agreements are bolstering the company's position as a supplier of bulk and specialty gases to the thin-film PV industry, the company notes.

The Linde Group's local subsidiary, Linde LienHwa, has been awarded contracts by Tianwei Baoding, Hangzhou Amplesun Solar Technology Co. Ltd. and ENN Solar in China. As part of these new long-term contracts, The Linde Group will be providing ongoing delivery of bulk and specialty gases essential to make thin-film solar cells, including large volumes of silane and hydrogen gas, which are used to deposit silicon light-absorbing layers on large-area sheets of glass used in solar panels.

The company adds that China has seen more than a 50% increase in solar cell manufacturing in 2008.

"Linde's successful relationships with Tianwei Baoding, Hangzhou Ample Solar and ENN Solar illustrate our commitment to deploy innovative approaches to production and utilization of materials in solar manufacturing," says Andy Cook, president of Linde LienHwa China." Ultimately, Linde's collaboration with such world-leading companies is aimed at the universal industry goal of reducing cost per watt of solar cell production and bringing the cost of solar electricity to grid parity."

Baoding Tianwei Solarfilms is working with Linde to future-proof its gas installation and supply chain. Tianwei's new thin-film solar production facility in Baoding, worth about $180 million, will go online in the first quarter of 2009.

Hangzhou Amplesun Solar, a privately invested high-tech company devoted to green power with a current investment, is installing two turnkey production lines in Hangzhou, with a total capacity of 50 MW, and plans to achieve a manufacturing capacity of 120 MW by the end of year 2010.

The first phase of the ENN Solar plant in Langfang will start commercial production by the second quarter of 2009, with a capacity of 60 MW, and possible future expansion up to 0.5 GW.

SOURCE: The Linde Group

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