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    US Chart Industries to supply Russian helium plant


The gas reserves of east Russia are rich in helium.

by: Joseph Murphy

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US Chart Industries to supply Russian helium plant

US industrial gases firm Chart Industries said on June 14 it had secured a contract to supply a large-scale helium liquefaction plant to "one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in Russia."

Chart did not disclose the identity of the customer. But it said the plant would be the second of its kind to be supplied to the customer by Cryo Technologies, which Chart bought in February this year.

Cryo signed a contract to supply a 7.5mn m3/year helium purification and liquefaction plant to Irkutsk Oil, an independent oil producer operating in East Siberia. On June 4, Irkutsk Oil announced it would be constructing a second helium facility.

Chart's contract covers equipment supply, commissioning and start-up services. It expects to finish delivering the equipment by the end of 2022, and launch the facility within a year later.

"This significant helium liquefaction win is our third hydrogen/helium liquefier order year-to-date 2021 and demonstrates the leading market position of our and Cryo Technologies combined liquefaction technologies and capabilities," Chart CEO Jill Evanko commented. "Our hydrogen/helium commercial liquefaction bidding pipeline remains very active and we expect this trend to increase throughout the second half of 2021."

The announcement by Chart comes less than a week after Russia's state-owned Gazprom reported the launch of its Amur gas processing plant in the Far East, which in addition to treated methane will also produce 60mn m3/year of helium. The gas reserves in east Russia are rich in helium, a valuable inert gas used in manufacturing.