An operator at the Helium 2 plant

An operator at the Helium 2 plant

RasGas Helium 2 on stream

The expansion places RasGas on the world stage and enables it to supply 25 per cent of global liquid helium demand

01 August 2013

RasGas Company Limited (RasGas) has announced that its recently completed Helium 2 plant produced the first liquid helium for delivery to contracted customers.

RasGas’ Helium 2 plant is twice the size of its Helium 1 plant, which began operations in 2005. The Helium 2 plant is expected to produce approximately 1.3 billion cu ft per year when fully operational. With a combined annual production of 2 billion cu ft, the two plants will meet around 25 per cent of current total liquid helium global demand. Both facilities are managed and operated by RasGas.

Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry, expressed pleasure at the new milestone saying it was a testament of Qatar’s strategy of creating added value by sound development and maximum utilisation of its natural resources.

“With the commencement of production at our Helium 2 plant, which is the world’s largest helium refining facility, we are today the largest exporter and the second largest producer of helium in the world,” Dr Al Sada highlighted.

Equipment at the plant

Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, RasGas chief executive officer and vice chairman of Qatar Petroleum (QP), commented: “The Helium 2 plant, which broke ground in May 2010, is the second helium project to be built in Qatar, and we are very pleased to report that in over five million man hours worked to complete this project, we have maintained a lost time incident rate (LTIR) of zero. Achieving such a remarkable safety milestone is a clear testimony to RasGas’ commitment to create and maintain a safe work environment in a complex construction project that involved thousands of contractors and employees.”

Off-take agreements were signed with Air Liquide, Iwatani Corporation and Linde Gases, a Linde Group division, in 2010. Air Liquide will receive 50 per cent, Linde Gases 30 per cent and the Iwatani Corporation 20 per cent of the annual production up to 2032.

The plant is co-owned by Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited 2 (Qatargas 2), Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited 3 (Qatargas 3), Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited 4 (Qatargas 4) and Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (3) (RL3).

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