State-owned LNG producing giant Qatargas said Monday it loaded the 10,000th cargo of helium from its Helium-2 plant in Ras Laffan.
The unit of Qatar Petroleum says the milestone cargo demonstrates Qatar’s position as one of the leading helium producers and exporters in the world.
Qatargas is the operator of Qatar’s helium production, storage and loading facilities located in Ras Laffan, also the home of the world’s largest LNG production complex.
Currently, the firm operates Helium 1 and 2 plants, which have a combined production capacity of 2.2 billion standard cubic feet (bscf) per year.
With the start of the Helium-3 plant in 2021, Qatargas says it would account for approximately 35% of world helium production with an overall production capacity of 2.6 bscf per year.
Qatargas’ Helium 2 plant, which is the largest helium production facility in the world, started production in June 2013. It loaded the 5000th cargo in May 2017.
Qatargas also operates the Helium 1 plant, which started production in September 2005.
Helium has high value applications in science, medicine and high-tech industries, including semiconductors, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), space exploration and fibre optics, Qatargas says.
In addition, the Qatari firms says that the industry expects global demand for helium to continue to grow at 2-3% per year.