Over a one-year time period, Air Liquide signed new supply contracts covering a period of 10 to 15 years with three major Chinese fiber optics manufacturers. In the frame of these new contracts with Futong Group Communication Technology, Yangtze Optical Fibre, and Zhongtian Technology Fine Materials, Air Liquide will supply a total exceeding 6,000 Nm3 per hour of hydrogen and 4,000 Nm3 per hour of nitrogen, together with bulk oxygen, helium, argon and carbon dioxide. Air Liquide will thus support the further development of China’s fiber optics industry.
Industrial gases are used to consolidate the center of the fiber, which consists of a silica glass rod. In practice, the first step in manufacturing fiber optics is to produce this glass rod, called “preform”. Hydrogen, oxygen and helium are then used to strengthen the preform before heating and drawing. In the final step, helium and argon are used to cool the drawn fiber efficiently.
Air Liquide signed a new 10-year contract for the supply of hydrogen and nitrogen to Futong Group Communication Technology (FGCT) in Jiashan City, Zhejiang Province. FGCT is one of the world’s largest fiber optics cable manufacturers.
Two other agreements in the same field of large-scale fiber optics production were also signed with Yangtze Optical Fibre and Zhongtian Technology Fine Materials. For a 10 to 15 year duration, Air Liquide will deliver to each customer nitrogen and hydrogen on-site generator solutions, as well as bulk oxygen, helium, argon and carbon dioxide.
With these new contracts, Air Liquide is reinforcing its leadership with China’s top fiber optics companies, who account for more than 30% of the Chinese production. In China, demand for fiber optics has experienced rapid growth in recent years, driven by 4G deployment and wideband “Fiber to the home” and “Fiber to the office” plans.
Francois Abrial, member of the Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee, supervising Asia Pacific, said: “We are proud to support our customers’ business development. These new projects illustrate Air Liquide’s ability to accompany the rise of fiber optics in China. These gases supply contracts reinforce the Group’s position in this growing market and demonstrate its ability to deliver competitive and reliable solutions.”
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