China’s Solar Industry Maintains Growth Momentum

The technology group, The Linde Group, and its subsidiary, Linde LienHwa (LLH), jointly announced several long-term gas supply contracts withleading Chinese solar manufacturers.

The multi-million US dollar contracts will see Linde supplying to the full solar manufacturingvalue chain in China, from polysilicon to major solar modulemanufacturers, including GS Solar, Parity Solar, CNPV Solar Power SA,General Solar Power and Argus Power.

Linde’s Greater ChinaRegional Business Unit will construct and manage two steam methanereformers (SMRs) in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, for the supply of highpurity hydrogen (H2) products for the rapid capacity expansion of polysilicon manufacturing. Linde’s SMR process is capable of producing large volumes of high purity H2 products, bringing energy-efficient benefitsto polysilicon manufacturers.

Linde’s electronics-focusedsubsidiary LLH’s new long-term gas supply contracts, going on-streamthis year in China, will provide delivery of bulk and specialty gasesessential for solar cells manufacturing. LLH’s total gases supply tothese new and expanding customers will significantly cover more than 1GW of capacity, with a further 300MW of possible expansions.

“Linde’s long-term supply contracts with industry leaders in China demonstratecustomer confidence in Linde’s innovative gas technologies to enableoptimal cost-performance ratio right across the solar value chain frompolysilicon to solar module manufacturing,” says Steven Fang, Head ofLinde Greater China. “Linde’s contract wins create new opportunities ofpartnership for us in the solar industry, and to be part of China’saspiration to develop its industries through sustainable technologies.”

LLH is at the forefront of greener solutions for the solar market. AndyCook, President of LLH China, adds, “As China joins the race to become a dominant player in the solar power market, module makers are demandinginnovative technologies to address the cost, efficiency and sustainablemanufacturing of photovoltaic cells. In line with its strong focus oninnovation and sustainability Linde LienHwa will also promote its onsite fluorine generators, as PV module manufacturers actively seek greeneralternatives to nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)."

China is effecting a rapid change in the business order of the global photovoltaic (PV)industry, carving out a significant global market share for itself, with government incentives stimulating local production and solar modulemanufacturers looking for increasingly cost effective and innovativeways to drive down cell costs.

Paula Mints, Director, EnergyPractice and principal analyst – PV Services Programme, NavigantConsulting, said: “2009 was a better year for sales than anyone in thePV industry expected, with shipment growth of 32 percent to the firstpoint of sale in the market. The most significant volume of PVproduction is coming from China and Taiwan – with significantly lowerprice points than the rest of the world. In 2009, shipments fromChina/Taiwan grew by 73 percent over 2008.”

In 2009, Chinaunveiled its Golden Sun programme to subsidise PV projects totalling642MW at a total estimated cost of RMB 20 billion ($2.9 billion). InNovember last year, ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit, Chinaannounced that it would cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of the GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2005 levels.

Linde has a leading position in gases and chemical supply to both crystalline and thin-film silicon PV module manufacturers, in key markets includingGermany, Spain, Italy, China, Taiwan and India. To date, Linde haspartnered with customers on projects with a production capacity of morethan 6GWP.


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