Malibu GmbH & Co. KG in Bielefeld, Germany, a joint venture between energy utility E.ON and Schüco, a buildings systems manufacturer, has signed a long-term contract for over-the-fence supply of nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2), silane (SiH4), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), argon (Ar), and helium (He) for its 40MW Applied Materials-supplied turnkey thin-film photovoltaic module manufacturing facility.
“This contract shall prove to be strategically invaluable for Linde’s fast growing Photovoltaic business,” said Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “The joint development programme will allow us to further develop our gas technology and to contribute to reducing the cost per watt in solar cell production,” added Andreas Günther, President of Linde Nippon Sanso.
Linde and Malibu have also entered into a Joint Development Programme for the development of advanced gas technology to improve cell efficiency, throughput and yield. Malibu is expected to migrate to multi-layer cell technology for increased efficiency once the facility comes on-stream, which is expected in October, 2008, with further capacity expansions expected to follow.
Linde Nippon Sanso has been successful at winning major specialty gas supply and systems management contracts in the PV sector in Europe in recent years. Linde Nippon Sanso Group, a joint venture between Linde and the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC), announced in May 2007 that it had been selected by Conergy AG to supply long-term gas supplies to its new facility in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. In December 2007, the gas supplier announced that it would supply all of the gases needed to make solar cells for Chip Energy GmbH in Guessing, Austria.