According to The Gas Review, Iwatani will construct new helium (He) centres in Ibaraki Prefecture and Xian, China.

The existing two footholds in Tsukuba and Yokosuka will be integrated into a new He centre to be newly constructed in Ami Industrial Complex in Ibaraki Prefecture. The centre, which will be completed in April 2019, is aimed at enhancing the production efficiency with the sluggish circumstance of demand in the background.

Built in Xian, China, the centre is intended to meet the demand in the inland area where there are substantially increasing advancements by the industries relate to optical fibre, semiconductor and MRI.

Iwantani aims for further expansion of business in the field of He where the company is in a strong position through its capital investments in concert with the market circumstances at home and abroad.

The domestic He market has not yet recovered in terms of consumption as liquid He for MRI stays dull despite the gas He for optical fibre and semiconductor sells at a good pace.

Iwantani has so far been carrying out business with two He centres of Tsukuba and Yokosuka as bases in the Kanto District. But, both of the facilities have got aged with lowered efficiency and have turned out to be replaced this time.

The new centre is going to be equipped with a boil-off gas recycling facility for trans-filling loss down to one eighth. Furthermore, the production capacity will be increased to 1.3 times of the total of two exiting bases aiming for expansion and a larger market share. In future, the company will put in sight a more streamlined distribution by means of a high-pressure filling at 30 MPa from the current 20 MPa.

In the premises where the new He centre is installed, Iwantani has an idea to build an effective use model of He attracting users of He including recycling.

Xian China He centre, on the other hand, is the second base in China following the one in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, and is scheduled to be completed in February 2019. Optical fibre and semiconductor plants are coming into the region and the demand for LHe for MRI is also expected to increase.

In the past, inland transportation has been applied for the supply to the region from Jiaxing, and the new construction is now aimed to enhance efficiency of the container transportation and further expansion of the local sales.

In Xian like in Japan, as there is an unused premise having an area of about 10 thousand square metre, it is also considered to take measures to attract users who are expected to consume a large volume of He.