At a time when helium supply and demand is firmly in the spotlight, Air Products has signed a long-term helium supply contract with National Helium LLC.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of DCP Midstream, the feedstock from National Helium provides the base-load helium volume for Air Products’ liquid helium plant located near Liberal, KS.

The Liberal facility, which is connected to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pipeline system and is one of the largest helium purification and liquefaction plants in the world, is also the home of a major Air Products helium distribution terminal.

The company maintains the world’s largest helium production and distribution system and operates numerous facilities around the world.

With such a position in the market, Air Products is naturally delighted to continue its ties with National Helium. “We have had a long and productive relationship with National Helium and are pleased to extend it for another very lengthy period of time,” affirmed John Van Sloun, general manager - Worldwide Helium at Air Products.

The company is also supplied with helium feedstock from DCP Midstream at its Hansford County, Texas liquid helium plant.

Boost

On a separate but not unrelated note, Van Sloun also indicated that Air Products’ new joint venture liquid helium production plant near Big Piney, WY is set to come on-stream later this year.

Jointly owned with Matheson, the plant will become the 10th liquid helium plant operating in the US – and the first new US facility constructed in over a decade.

Likely to represent something of a boost to the market, it is designed to produce 200 million standard cubic feet per year at start-up, with expectations for future expansion to 400 million.