The Linde Group and Gazprom Export LLC, a 100% subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, have signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the offtake of helium (He) from Gazprom’s new Amur He plant currently under construction in the far east of Russia, as part of the development of Gazprom’s ‘Power of Siberia’ gas project.

Pursuant to the agreement, Linde will become a purchaser of significant volumes of He from the new production facility in the town of Svobodny in the vicinity of the city of Blagoveshensk. The plant is due to be commissioned in parallel with the start of the flow of natural gas extracted from the Chayandinskoye field along the new gas transportation route ‘Yakutia - Khabarovsk – Vladivostok’.

“Linde is very proud to have entered this long-term agreement with Gazprom Export to purchase significant volumes of He produced from this major project, and we look forward to the first supplies of He targeted for 2021,” said Sanjiv Lamba, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG.

Linde’s Engineering Division is the licenser for the cryogenic gas separation technology at the Amur Gas Processing Plant in Svobodny and will engineer and supply units for ethane and natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction and nitrogen (N2) rejection, as well as for He purification, liquefaction and storage. The project represents a unique logistics undertaking with the plant being located some 1,500 km from the ports of export in and around Vladivostok.

The Chayandinskoye field, together with other resources owned by Gazprom in the East Siberian region, forms one of the largest reservoirs of He in the world. The Amur He plant will become a significant new source of helium when it is fully operational that will help to meet the growing global demand for decades.

He is used in a wide range of applications, including the manufacture and operation of MRI (Magnet Resonance Imaging) scanners as well as the manufacture of semiconductors, LCD screens and fibre optic cable. As it can only be economically produced from He-rich natural gas sources, there are only a limited number of helium production facilities around the world.