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Bosch and Linde collaborate for a new ‘solar cluster’ in Germany

Linde Nippon Sanso (LNS), a company of The Linde Group, and Bosch Solar Energy, have announced an extension of their collaboration at Bosch’s new crystalline Si solar cell manufacturing site in Arnstadt, Germany. Under the new agreement, LNS will supply silane and ammonia gas, both critical materials in the fabrication of Bosch’s high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) cells.

Bosch currently operates three manufacturing facilities in the Erfurt/Arnstadt area applying both crystalline and thin film silicon technologies. When fully-ramped the crystalline facilities alone will have an overall capacity of 630 MWp (megawatt peak) – putting the Erfurt/Arnstadt area firmly on the map as a strong European ‘solar cluster’. Linde is the main gas technology supplier to all of the production lines.

“Linde’s technology leadership in high-efficiency gases for PV manufacturing and our ability to provision these safely, has helped us bolster our collaboration with Bosch Solar Energy,” said Andreas Guenther, President LNS. “We value the opportunity to support Bosch’s capacity expansion and partner in the establishment of Erfurt/Arnstadt as an important PV manufacturing site in Europe.”

Taking into account Bosch Solar Energy’s current and Masdar’s new thin-film plant, the overall capacity of the Erfurt ‘solar cluster’ currently stands at more than 300MWp and is projected to reach at least 700MWp by 2012, rivalling the well-established Thalheim “solar valley”.

Over the past four years Linde has built a leading position in gases and chemical supply to both crystalline and thin-film silicon PV module manufacturers, in key markets including Germany, Spain, Italy, China, Taiwan and India. To date, Linde has partnered customers on projects with a target capacity of more than 6GWp (gigawatt peak).

About Bosch Solar Energy AG
Bosch Solar Energy AG, subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany, is a leading provider of resource-saving photovoltaic products. Bosch Solar Energy offers its customers high-efficiency, silicon-based crystalline and thin-film products. Currently, Bosch Solar Energy AG and its subsidiaries employ more than 1,400 workers.

For more information please visit http://www.bosch-solarenergy.com

About The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 50,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2008 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 12.7 billion (USD 15.9 billion). 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.

For more information see The Linde Group web site at http://www.linde.com