Qatar: dual success in helium market
Air Liquide has been awarded a contract by RasGas Company Limited on behalf of Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited and Qatargas Liquefied Gas Company, for a large turn-key helium extraction, purification and liquefaction nunit to be inst
The new unit will be the largest in the world, with a production capacity of 38 million m3 of helium per year. The technology used to purify and liquefy helium at very low temperature (-269°C) is a proprietary Air Liquide advanced technology. For this project, Air Liquide will provide the largest helium liquefier in the world, which will be operated by RasGas.
This project arises out of the existing partnership between Air Liquide, RasGas and Qatargas, which was formed for the successful development of a previous helium unit on the same site in 2003. The combined production of these two units will be 58 million m3 per year, making Qatar a leading producer of helium, with 25% of worldwide production.
Moreover, under a long-term agreement with Rasgas and Qatargas, Air Liquide will be entitled to purchase 50% of the helium volumes produced by this new unit. Access to this major helium source, combined with the acquisition of the international supplier and distributor Pure Helium in 2008, will position the Group as one of the main players in the worldwide helium market.
François Darchis, Senior Vice-President, Air Liquide Group, and a member of the Executive Committee, commented:
“Air Liquide is particularly proud of this worldwide first, which demonstrates our capacity to meet major complex needs thanks to our industrial and technical expertise. Qatar is a strategic supply source of helium for the years to come and Air Liquide will significantly strengthen its worldwide helium supply position as well as its leadership in the Middle East.”
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