Korea Neon gas has been successfully localized.
With the rapid growth of semiconductor market in recent years, the demand of rare gases such as neon (Ne), xenon (Xe) and krypton (Kr) used in semiconductor process is increasing rapidly. The Korean rare gas market is expected to grow by 20 percent annually from 160 billion won in 2020 to 280 billion won in 2023. However, South Korea currently imports 100 percent of noble gases.
Neon is a rare gas with a content of 0.00182% in the air. It is one of the raw materials of excimer laser gas used in semiconductor exposure process. In the past, importing all and relying on foreign technology, South Korea has tried to localize products as trade disputes have led to price spikes and supply shortages. The plant can produce about 22000Nm3 high purity neon gas annually, which is expected to meet 16% of the domestic demand. POSCO finished product quality assessment at the end of last year and will complete the construction of the facility and start commercial production this year. As a reward for the successful completion of the project, TEMC received full compensation for the initial investment and a long-term purchase option for POSCO Neon.
POSCO held a ceremony for the completion and delivery of a neon production facility at its Gwangyang oxygen plant on January 12. The project is a collaboration between South Korean steel maker POSCO and semiconductor gas company TEMC. The complete localization of neon production will be promoted for about two years from the end of 2019. The company adopts large air separation unit, based on guangyang oxygen plant and TEMC technology, independently developed the first neon production equipment in China. The company has localized production facilities and technology for neon (Ne), a rare gas used in semiconductors, and delivered its first batch of products in Korea. After extracting neon gas with its own technology, TEMC has completed the localization of excimer laser gas production.