Cryo Diffusion has been awarded a contract by Air Liquide for helium valve boxes and vacuum insulated lines for the Qatar Helium 2 Project.

The helium valve boxes and vacuum insulated lines will be used on the world’s largest helium liquefier, to be operated by RasGas and installed in RasLaffan.

With a temperature of -269 °C, liquid helium is more difficult to store than other cryogenic liquids and require technical and industrial expertise in insulation technology to minimise losses of this costly product.

One particularity of the project, Cryo Diffusion notes, is that the inner pipe diameters were 2 and 3 inch lines while the outer diameter was 16 inches – allowing for extensive use of innovative, multi-layer super insulation under high vacuum.

The contract was awarded by Air Liquide, which itself has an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract for the liquefier helium refining unit to purify and liquefy crude helium gas recovered from Qatar’s North Field. The equipment is currently being installed in the facility at Qatar.

“We are proud to be a part of this high profile project which demonstrates our ability to undertake complex, special projects that require our industrial and technical expertise in helium equipment”

Philippe Doinel, General Manager of Cryo Diffusion

Operation is expected to commence at the new plant in early 2013 and it will be the biggest helium liquefaction plan in the world – making Qatar the world’s second largest helium producer.

Philippe Doinel, General Manager of Cryo Diffusion, commented, “We are proud to be a part of this high profile project which demonstrates our ability to undertake complex, special projects that require our industrial and technical expertise in helium equipment.”

Essential

Helium is essential to a number of applications such as MRI scanners for the medical profession; in industrial applications for electronics, fibre optics, photovoltaics, leak detection and welding; and in the retail and entertainment industries for balloons.

The Qatar Helium 2 Project is for the largest turnkey helium extraction, purification and liquefaction unit in the world. Helium production capacity from the project is expected to be 38 million m3 of helium per year.

Established in 1965, Cryo Diffusion operates in international markets in the design and manufacture of the full range of vacuum super-insulated cryogenic equipment for liquefied gases. All the company’s products are manufactured in France at the facility of Lery, near Paris, and over 70% of the products are exported globally.

Since 2001, Cryo Diffusion has been part of the VRV Group.