In a move that will see increased helium supply in the US, Linde has said it will recover helium contained in Freeport LNG’s production site in Texas and construct a new processing plant in the state.

The industrial gas giant today (25th April) confirmed its plans, stating that its new processing plant will both purify and liquify the recovered helium from the Freeport LNG site and therefore secure an additional source of liquid helium.

Linde has said the project is on track to start up in 2024 and provide nearly 200 million cubic feet of helium into its supply portfolio.

Odessa Mann, General Manager of Helium and Rare Gas at Linde, said, “Through a unique application of Linde’s proven technology, we are able to efficiently capture helium from Freeport’s LNG plant.”

“Working with Freeport, Linde will be securing a new helium source in the US to help meet growing demand.”

Aaron Neus, Senior Vice-President, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Freeport LNG, added, “By working with Linde, we have the opportunity to complement our LNG operations and strengthen the domestic supply of helium.”

It is believed the helium will be supplied to customers from a variety of end-use markets, including aerospace, electronics, healthcare and manufacturing.

Insight from gasworld Business Intelligence

Karina Kocha

Karina Kocha

Source: gasworld

According gasworld Business Intelligence, helium demand in the US in 2021 was about 1.44 billion cubic feet (bcf), up from 1.41bcf in 2020, and US demand will grow approximately 1.9% a year, totalling to 1.6 bcf by 2026.

gasworld Business Intelligence also suggests that the main drivers of the demand will be such areas of applications as science, electronics, balloons, purging etc., while MRI liquid demand could see a dip.

Southeast of the US accounts for almost a third of the helium demand, while Rockies require accounts for about 1%. Southeast all together with Great Lakes, West Coast and Southwest consumes about a ¾ of US helium demand.