The Linde Group, through its Australian subsidiary BOC Limited, has announced it has signed a long-term agreement with Darwin LNG Pty Ltd for the supply of feed-gas to the new helium refining and liquefaction to be built adjacent to Darwin LNG’s complex in Australia.

The announcement of the feed-gas supply comes after the recent news of the planned construction of Australia’s first ever helium production plant, as a $33m project in the Northern Territory.

It has now been revealed that the helium plant is designed and to be built by Linde Kryotechnik AG of Switzerland, a subsidiary of Linde Engineering, and is expected to produce approximately 750 tpy of high purity liquid helium. Around one third of the plant’s output is intended for the Australian market, while the remaining two thirds will be exported largely to customers in the Asia Pacific region.

Joseph Yu, head of helium, Asia Pacific for The Linde Group, comments, “With the expected commissioning less than two years from now, the Darwin helium plant will support the growing demand for this product in Asia and the South Pacific. Together with our access to product from Qatar and the US, Linde will have multiple sources capable of serving the Asia Pacific market. Darwin will make our customers in the region less vulnerable to shortages and reduce their reliance on US sources.”

Steve Penn, head of global helium for The Linde Group, outlines the strengthening of the group’s overall supply position as he comments, “When combined with the start-up earlier this year of the Helison plant – a joint venture between Linde and Sonatrach in Skikda, Algeria – and the improving output from the facility in Qatar, the Darwin plant will improve Linde’s overall supply position and further enhance the diversity of our sources.”

“This unmatched diversity of supply, together with the regionally balanced supply position we are building, will provide security of supply for our customers worldwide,” Penn added.