Helison Production Spa, a joint venture between the Algerian gas and oil company Sonatrach and The Linde Group, delivered its one hundredth container of helium at its plant in Skikda.

Since commencing operations in April 2007, the Skikda plant has been supplying most of the helium that Linde sells on the European market.
Designed and built by Linde Engineering, the helium plant was handed over to Helison Production in June 2006 and has been reliably producing high purity liquid helium since April 2007.

Sonatrach supplies the feed gas – a mixture consisting of helium, nitrogen and methane – to Helison from their three LNG plants they own and operate in Skikda.

During the helium production process, the nitrogen is separated, liquefied and delivered back to Sonatrach for use in the industry, while the methane is returned to the LNG complex and used to produce steam. The Helison plant is therefore emission-free.

Currently, the Skikda plant has a capacity of 1,300 tpy; between four to six containers of helium are filled at the plant each week. However, a newly built LNG plant in Skikda which is expected to be operational by end of 2011, will increase the total helium production to 13 containers per week or 3000 tpy respectively.

$quot;The 100th helium container produced in Skikda marks an important milestone in the development of the Helium industry in Algeria. We are operating a best-in-class helium plant and look forward to continue working with Linde to consolidate our position as one of the most reliable helium sources worldwide,$quot; said Dr. Hocine Laidouni, deputy managing director, Helison Production.