As the electronics market in China experiences improvement, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., in Shenzen, China, has signed a long-term contract with Paris-based Air Liquide to supply carrier gases, including nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, argon and compressed air, as well as specialty gases. 

To support the contract and the development of the electronics industry in southern China, Air Liquide will invest in various facilities and production units, with the first phase of this plan amounting to approximately $19.6 million. Startup is scheduled for early 2010.