Jinhong Gas, the largest privately owned industrial gas company in the East China region, has revealed it will soon start its helium business in the region.

Also among the leading local industrial gas companies in the whole of China, Jinhong signed an agreement with Taiyo Nippon Sanso (TNSC) in September, a deal which will see TNSC deliver liquid helium to transfill facilities at the new base of Jinhong Gas.

Besides transfilling the helium in gas cylinders and liquid containers, Jinhong Gas will also be responsible for the sales and distribution of the helium.

The signing ceremony was held in Suzhou with the presence of local government officers, senior management from TNSC, and representatives from industrial gas associations.

Mr. JIN Xianghua, Managing Director of Jinhong Gas, described the cooperation as a special ‘gift’ that the economic crisis has given Jinhong - and also the evidence that the company was quick to capture opportunities.

The total investment of the first phase of the helium project is RMB 50m ($7.3m approx.) and it is expected that the annual production will reach 60 thousand cylinders of helium.

The system will be based on state-of-the-art technology, while the site is scheduled to start production at the end of this year (2009).

Based in Suzhou city, of Jiangsu province, Jinhong Gas was founded in 1999 and now operates seven branches in the East China region, including a total liquid air separation plant of 100 tonnes per day (tpd) and an electrolytic hydrogen production plant. Annual sales revenue is more than RMB 300m (approx. $44m) and the company has plans to be listed on the stock market in three years time.