Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, has shipped the first container from its newest helium source, Helium II, operated by Ras Gas at the Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar. Linde has secured long term rights to 30 percent of the output from this latest and largest helium source in the world, further demonstrating its commitment to ensure a steady supply of one of the world's rarest and most sought-after gases.
Helium is critical to the manufacture and operation of MRI scanners as well as the manufacture of semiconductors, LCD screens and fibre optic cable. As it can only be economically produced from helium-rich natural gas sources, there are only a limited number of helium production facilities around the world.
"Due to its unique properties, relative scarcity and global supply chain, helium is one of only a few industrial gases with a truly global market," said Steve Penn, Global Head of Merchant and Packaged Gases, Linde Gases Division. "We have therefore strengthened our supply base in Qatar building on our long-term commitment with the first plant there in 2005. Helium II further reinforces Linde's position as having the most diverse helium sourcing portfolio in the industry, including sources in Algeria, Australia and the US."
Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, RasGas Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Qatar Petroleum (QP) said, "The Helium II 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 5 million man hours worked to complete this project, we have maintained a lost time incident rate (LTIR) of zero. Achieving such a remarkable milestone is a clear testimony to RasGas' commitment to creating and maintaining a safe work environment in a complex construction project that involved thousands of contractors and employees."
Linde is investing over EUR 35 million in new containers to supply the additional helium from Helium II and its expanded source in Skikda, Algeria. Linde is also investing to expand its transfill and container staging facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai to accommodate the growth.
Over the past 10 years, Linde has invested heavily in new source development and long term commitments with third party producers. Along with Skikda, output from both Qatar plants and its own facility in Darwin, Australia, Linde will have brought to market more helium than any other company. Additionally, in December 2012, Russian company Gazprom Export and Linde signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stipulating cooperation to implement new helium production projects concurrently with the development of the Eastern Siberia gas fields.
Helium II will support Linde's global growth agenda, particularly in Asia.
For more information about related Opportunities and Key Players visit Qatar Oil and Gas Projects