January 22, 2008 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) today announced it has signed an agreement with Signet Solar Inc. to supply turnkey installation of gas delivery systems and services and related gas needs for a new, thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module production facility in Mochau, Germany. The long-term agreement includes the supply of hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and argon, as well as specialty gases such as silane, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and dopant gases. The new plant will be onstream in the summer of 2008.
“We are delighted to have been selected as the gas supplier to Signet Solar and are confident that our expertise in turnkey gas delivery solutions will be invaluable in the safe and effective start up of Signet’s new facility in Mochau,” said Corning Painter, vice president and general manager of Electronics for Air Products. “We look forward to Signet’s success and growing with the company in the future.”
Signet Solar’s thin-film PV modules will be manufactured in much the same way as thin-film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) are produced. As one of the largest suppliers to the TFT-LCD industry, Air Products is ideally suited to supply the new facility. This agreement marks Air Products’ entry into the burgeoning thin-film photovoltaic industry and complements its existing crystalline PV offerings.
“After an extensive evaluation process we selected Air Products as our long-term gas supplier for our first manufacturing plant in Germany,” said Gunter Ziegenbalg, Managing Director of Signet Solar GmbH. “We found Air Products’ offering to best match our need for reliable, safe and high-quality gas supply as well as for an extensive on-site support. We are looking forward to growing the business together as Signet Solar will expand its production capacities worldwide.”
“Our position as one of the leading suppliers of NF3, high purity ammonia, helium and hydrogen combined with our complete supply chain and bulk delivery system expertise in silane, enables us to be the safest and most reliable long-term supplier to the PV market,” said Painter.
PV modules convert sunlight directly into electricity. When production begins later this year, Signet Solar will be manufacturing the world’s largest PV modules, measuring 2.2m x 2.6m, for use in solar power stations, solar panels integrated into buildings, and for free-standing solar plants in areas without electricity.
With the demand for renewable energy and improved efficiency on the rise, Air Products is well positioned to take advantage of these emergent markets due to its experience in areas such as: large scale hydrogen supply for cleaner transportation fuels, developmental work on the hydrogen economy, hydrogen vehicle fueling and infrastructure issues, leading natural gas liquefaction technology, advanced materials for lithium ion electrolytes for longer life batteries, and now the mounting supply of gases and services for photovoltaics.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. 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 $10 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and over 22,000 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.