After six months of integration in Sassenage’ workshops, the helium liquefier of the RHEA (Ras Laffan Helium Air Liquide) project was hitting the road over the festive season, en route to its destination in Qatar.

The liquefier hit the road from mid December to reach the purification and liquefaction helium plant at the site of Ras Laffan, Qatar.

The RHEA liquefier was en route to Ras Laffan, Qatar.

Source: Air Liquide

The liquefier will reach its destination around mid-February, after a long journey, to be integrated into the entire unit RHEA. The teams of Air Liquide Engineering, responsible for the purification element of the plant, will then follow the installation for Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, with the technical support of its teams.

After a phase of start-up and testing, the first drops of helium should be produced late 2012, early 2013.

Air Liquide Advanced Technologies explains that its teams have ‘demonstrated their expertise and know-how by designing and manufacturing the largest helium liquefier in the world ever made to that date’.

A project team of 15 persons and approximately 20 production operators have been involved in the project, including about 40,000 hours of engineering and 15,000 hours of integration.

Meanwhile another division of Air Liquide was also busy over the festive season, as Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy and Airstar, in partnership with the city of Grenoble, offered for the first time in France a totally clean public illuminations display provided by the combination of a fuel cell and lighting balloons.

On Saturday 17th December, the Grenoble Mountain Christmas market was officially opened on the Esplanade le Ray. With the idea to offer a clean and innovating solution to light up the market, the project, initiated by the city of Grenoble, was made possible by combining the expertise of Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy and Airstar.

Skyscrapers were admired by the public everyday until 31st December, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell developed and produced by Air Liquide/Axane, and lit with balloons designed by Airstar.