Air Liquide Far Eastern building more Taiwan plants, riding on semiconductor boom

08, Jul. 2020

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TAIPEI, NNA - Continuing with its expansion in Taiwan, Air Liquide Far Eastern Ltd. (ALFE) is building two new plants to cater to rising demand for quality gases from the booming semiconductor industry on the island and the Asia-Pacific region.

The company is investing NT$1 billion ($33.6 million) in a plant to be built in Taichung City’s Chungkang Export Processing Zone, according to a press statement by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Tuesday.

It will embark on another project in southern Kaohsiung City’s Nanzih Export Processing Zone next month, the ministry added.

The Chungkang plant will have facilities to improve product quality and provide on-site service, apart from serving as a warehouse to support the expansion in exports.

ALFE has more than 40 production facilities and service locations throughout the island, including major science parks in Taiwan.

Over the years, it has secured a vital position in Taiwanese gas market and gradually expanded the variety of gas supply and services for the island's thriving electronics industry and many other sectors especially medical.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Chungkang plant was held on Tuesday with the attendance of Air Liquide Group CEO Olivier Blachier and government officials. The plant will start operating once construction is completed in March 2021.

In April this year, the French Air Liquide group announced that it will invest close to 200 million euros ($225 million) to build plants in Taiwan's Tainan and Hsinchu basins.

Under a long-term commitment with a semiconductor market leader, the plants will allow the group to supply to three high-volume semiconductor fabrication plants under construction in Tainan Science Park, as well as to some of the world’s most advanced R&D fabs for logic IC chips in Hsinchu Science Park.

The group said ALFE will build ultra-high purity hydrogen and oxygen plants in each basin and two large plants in Hsinchu to produce high-purity nitrogen and argon. They will also supply helium to the R&D fabs.

The first plants are expected to start during the second quarter of 2021 to support the multi-billion-dollar wafer fabs expansion, said the group.

It explained that the major investment was largely driven by Air Liquide’s proven record in providing reliable and power-efficient nitrogen and argon production technology and services to its customers, as well as by its capacity to provide low-carbon and high-purity hydrogen and oxygen differentiated solutions.

Hydrogen will be partially produced from renewable energy sources to prevent emission of an estimated 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, said the group.

Air Liquide Far Eastern is a joint venture established in 1987 by the Air Liquide Group and Taiwan Far Eastern Group.

Founded in 1902, the Air Liquide Group is a world leader in industrial and medical gases with businesses in 80 countries and regions. The group logged sales of 5.37 billion euros in the first quarter of 2020, a 1.3 percent decrease from the same period in 2019.