A three-way venture has officially been signed for liquid and gaseous helium transfilling and ISO container logistics and maintenance facilities in Qatar.

At a time when helium is seldom far from the headlines, Buzwair Gases, Iwatani Corporation and LNG Japan Corporation have joined forces in a joint venture agreement to create the Middle East facilities.

Expected for commission in November 2013, the venture was officially signed on the dotted line in Tokyo, Japan in June. The signing ceremony for the joint venture agreement was held under the attendance of the heads of the three companies and executive management of the Partners.

The venture, named Gulf Helium Services, represents the first helium transfilling operation in Qatar, and will be a significant expansion of helium value-added technology business for the State of Qatar. The newly formed company will be focused on leading-edge technology, gas handling efficiencies for ultra high purity helium (99.9999 percent), up to 300 bar filling pressure, and regional product security.

For Iwatani, it is hoped that the venture will ensure stable supply of helium to ensure its customers worldwide demand is met. Iwatani is the first Asian Company which has acquired the right to purchase liquid helium directly from Qatar with the commissioning of the new Helium Ⅱ Project. The liquid helium is extracted from the associated gas through the process of LNG production in one of the world’s largest LNG plants in Qatar. Iwatani will purchase approximately 8 million cubic meters per year of helium from the summer of 2013.

For Buzwair, a long established provider of industrial, specialty and medical gases in Qatar, the venture represents a further important step in its focused and niched expansion strategy in the region, developing specialized products and services coupled to international operating standards.