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Posted: May 26, 2009

Linde to Supply Italy's First Thin-Film Solar Cell Plant with Environmentally Friendly Gases

(Nanowerk News) Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, today announced that it has been awarded the exclusive contract to supply high purity gases to Italy’s first thin-film solar module manufacturing plant. The Moncada Energy Group s.r.l., a leading private producer of renewable energy in Italy, is building the plant in Campofranco (Sicily).
Under this agreement, Linde Gas Italia, a member of The Linde Group, will provide Moncada with turnkey installation of the plant’s bulk and specialty gases supply systems. On an ongoing basis, it will also deliver nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2), silane (SiH4) and chamber cleaning gases which are essential to making thin-film solar cells.
“Linde Gas Italia is excited to partner with Moncada to expand Italy's growing infrastructure of renewable energy installations,” said Fabrizio Elia, CEO of Linde Gas Italia. “Our collaboration with Moncada echoes our commitment to deliver innovative environmentally friendly processes, and it also builds on our aim to make solar energy more affordable for mass consumption – at par with the grid.”
Linde was selected based on its proven supply capability and strong global market position in turnkey solutions for thin-film solar module manufacturing. Its established R&D programme, which is focused on reducing production costs and delivering environmentally friendly solutions, was also key to the contract win. Linde has developed a process that can replace the powerful greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) with pure fluorine (F2), which does not contribute to global warming.
Moncada’s thin-film PV plant in Campofranco, which becomes fully-operational in 2010, will produce large 5.7m2 single junction photovoltaic modules. The facility is expected to have an annual output capacity of 40MWp.
“Moncada’s mission is to enable the environmentally friendly and cost-effective production and installation of solar panels. Linde’s proven technology expertise mirrors our ambition to quickly achieve grid parity in Italy,” said Salvatore Moncada, CEO and founder of Moncada Energy Group. “Partnering with experts from The Linde Group and Applied Materials, Moncada is firmly placed to fuel the boom phase for renewable energy in Italy.”
Linde is the leading supplier of fluorine, producing it on-site, on-demand and at very low pressures. Developed in the late 1990s, this proven technology has been installed at more than 20 semiconductor, LCD and solar cell production sites, including Toshiba Matsushita Display, Samsung, and LG.
About The Linde Group
The Linde Gases Division, part of The Linde Group, is a leader in the international industrial and healthcare gases markets, providing compressed, bulk, specialty and medical gases, as well as chemicals to virtually all fields of industry globally. The company adds value to its customers’ businesses through the provision of state-of-the art application technology, process know-how, services and equipment.
Linde Gas Italia was established in 1991. It has approximately 400 employees and in 2008 had total sales of over 200 million euro.
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 52,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2008 financial year it achieved sales of 12.7 billion euro. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment - in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
About Moncada Energy Group
Moncada Energy Group s.r.l. is a leading private Italian producer of renewable energy through its wind farm technology. Moncada's goal is to consolidate its expertise in engineering and wind energy to develop new business units focused on the production of electricity using solar, geothermal and biomass technologies.
Source: Linde (press release)
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