Korean Subsidiary KIG Invests in Fast Growing Asia LCD and LED Markets
December 17, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products today announced its plans to construct an ultra-high purity (UHP) Ammonia distillation plant in Ulsan, Korea to serve the market in Asia. The state-of-the-art plant and transfill station will be operated by Korea Industrial Gases, or KIG, an Air Products subsidiary.
Air Products will continue to manufacture UHP Ammonia at its Morrisville and Hometown, Pennsylvania locations. This new third location—Air Products’ first in Asia—is being built to meet growing customer demand, and will reinforce Air Products’ position as the leading UHP Ammonia supplier to the global Electronics industry. Air Products is also the largest supplier of UHP Ammonia to the U.S. Electronics market.
UHP Ammonia is an electronic specialty gas integral to such markets as Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Displays (TFT-LCD), integrated circuits and Light Emitting Diodes (LED). Each of these markets is evolving, driven by substantial growth in production facilities throughout Asia. Industry estimates have TFT-LCD technology—a part of the flat panel display industry—continuing to grow by more than 30 percent, while the LED market is growing by more than 10 percent, each per year over the near term.
“This investment is just the next chapter in a growing worldwide Electronics infrastructure—one that best serves our customers, no matter where they are in the world,” explained Soo Yon Lee, president, KIG. “By investing in the world’s newest ultra-high purity Ammonia facility now, we’re better positioned to meet the growing flat panel market and LED demands that we see happening in Asia.”
Air Products will manufacture two lines of Ammonia at the new Korea facility: VLSI Ammonia (99.999% purity) is already being used by the integrated circuit and TFT-LCD industries, while its White AmmoniaTM(99.99999% purity) product is a key material in the LED industry. Air Products’ White AmmoniaTMproduct offering is the Electronics industry’s most ultra-pure line of Ammonia available on the market today. Its purity is critical in the production of LEDs, which are displacing conventional lighting alternatives based on their ability to operate at reduced power, at lower temperatures and with extended lifetimes.
LED technology is rapidly being adopted in the global automotive industry and also in traffic signaling, signage and LCD backlighting applications. TFT-LCDs are a key component in the manufacture of flat panel screens in computer monitors, cell phones, personal organizers, televisions and other electronic devices.
The project will enhance Air Products’ supply chain by building on its state-of-the-art purification technology and Bulk Specialty Gas System (BSGS) offering, a service that includes a proprietary bulk ISO module package offering. Air Products’ Korean location will be able to leverage the most comprehensive fleet of ISO units in the industry, while also supplying other bulk quantities of UHP Ammonia in a variety of containers and drums—thereby better serving customers throughout the region.
The Korea plant is scheduled to be on-stream in the last quarter of calendar year 2005 (CY05).
Worldwide, Air Products’ Electronics business generates $1.2 billion in revenue and is the leading supplier to the global Electronics industry. Its portfolio consists of integrated service offerings and products including bulk gases, specialty gases, specialty materials and enabling equipment.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $7.4 billion, operations in over 30 countries, and nearly 20,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.