China has been a specialty gas importer for over a decade. Now with its own growing capacity to produce various specialty gases, China is to become more of a producer than consumer.
"China's integrated circuit manufacturing industry was heavily dependent on imports abroad. We are doing everything we can to make our own specialty gases over the years," said Guo Jianzeng, the vice director of the 718th research institute of China Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Corporation.
Specialty gases represent rare or ultra-high purity gases, which have unique properties and thus benefit industries such as pharmaceuticals and electronics by helping them to lower costs, improve yields and optimize performance.
Through years of research and technological innovation, the 718th research institute has successfully produced high purity NF3 and WF6 gases, which are important production materials for semiconductor and liquid crystal manufacturers.
"Our product specifications have reached the international level, not only breaking up the monopoly of foreign companies, but giving China an edge in specialty gas production," Guo said.
According to a report released by the 718th research institute, NF3 and WF6 produced by it have been supplied to nearly all semiconductor factories and most liquid crystal manufacturers in China, and exported to Japan, Singapore, the United States and many European countries, achieving a 50 percent market share internationally this year.
"With the addition of high-purity gases, calibration gases and ultra-high-purity gases for the electronics segment, the 718th research institute will also be capable of producing complex mixtures for research laboratories and emission testing centers," Guo said.
A report by MarketsandMarkets, a global market research and consulting company, shows Asia-Pacific will become the fastest growing specialty gas market globally in the next five years, and China will dominate in both demand and production.
Guo said that his institute was upgrading its production lines for four specialty gases including NF3 and WF6, in a bid to achieve the largest capacity and biggest market share globally by 2020.