Praxair China Investment Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Praxair Inc., has signed an industrial gases supply contract with Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Beijing) Corporation (SMIC).

According to the contract, Praxair China will supply nitrogen, oxygen, argon, hydrogen, helium and compressed air to SMIC's new 300 mm semiconductor wafer fab under construction at Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area (BDA) in Beijing, China. A multi-product bulk gas production and supply facility will be built in BDA, including an air separation plant for the supply of bulk gases primarily to SMIC (Beijing). The plant will also produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen, and argon for the local Beijing market. The facility is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2005.

"SMIC is on track to become one of the leading foundries of 8- and 12-inch wafers in China and we are committed to helping them meet the growing market demands for their products," said Jay Cheng, president of Praxair China. "This agreement expands the successful relationship between Praxair and SMIC in Shanghai, where Praxair supplies industrial gases to SMIC's semiconductor wafer fabs at the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park."

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