Qatar launches $500m helium JV

07 May 2010

(MENAFN) Qatar launched a $500 million joint venture helium plant in the Ras Laffan Industrial City, aiming to become the world?s second largest helium producer by 2013, The Peninsula reported.

This $500 million project is the second helium project to be built in Qatar, with the first 700 million cubic feet per year capacity plant coming on stream in 2005.

Helium sales from the Qatar Helium 2 Project are expected to hit 1.3 billion cubic feet per year with the crude helium by-product recovered from the joint venture partners making Qatar second only to the United States in helium production.

Air Liquide of France has won the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to purify and liquefy crude helium gas recovered from Qatar?s North Field. Sales and purchase agreements were also signed with Air Liquide for 50 percent of the output; with Linde Gases, a division of the Linde Group of Germany, for 30 percent; and with Iwatani Corporation of Japan for 20 percent.

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