Ansai Huayou Natural Gas Company Limited signed an agreement with Beijing Sinoscience Fullcryo Technology Company Limited for the recovery of helium, on the 26th November.

The helium will to be recovered from the LNG (liquified natural gas) boil-off gas of an LNG plant to which the feed natural gas stream contains 0.04% to 0.07% helium.

The Ansai Huayou liquefaction plant currently processes roughly 2million m3 of natural gas, which comes from the Changqing gas field. The helium production is expected to be 100,000-200,000 m3 per year, depending on the operation of the LNG plant.

Before the project, Beijing Sinoscience Fullcryo built its first BOG helium recovery plant for China Energy North Natural Gas Co Ltd. The yearly production will be 120,000-160,000 litres of liquid helium. The equipment will soon be in the testing and commissioning stage. 

The experience of these two projects will form the foundation of the future projects for the LNG plants in the Big Erdos region, according to a press release.

China imported approximately 3600 tonnes of liquid helium for nearly all its helium needs in 2017. When these projects are up and running, it will help ease the reliance on imported helium.