Iwatani has revealed that it has completed the construction of a helium filling station in Jiaxing, in the vicinity of Shanghai – with operation starting in September.

The new filling station was constructed on the grounds of Jiaxing Iwatani Industrial Gases, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iwatani Group. With the air separation gas plant, which went into operation in 2004 as Plant1, the new helium station is now positioned as Plant2.

In addition to facilities for receiving liquid gas containers, the new filling station has facilities for filling and analysing semiconductor grade high purity helium, as well as for filling tube trailers and cylinders. The filling capacity is 600 Nm3 an hour.

The design of the plant takes advantage of the know-how gained through experience in handling helium supply in Japan. The supply facilities, such as the filling apparatus, as well as the containers and tube trailers, along with the compressor, were produced locally. The filling pressure for cylinders is 14.7MPa, while for the tube trailers it is 19.7MPa. Large tube trailers with an internal volume of 5,000 m3 (20MPa) are employed, in accordance with Chinese legal regulations.

Iwatani has secured rights to import helium of eight million m3 a year from the new source in Qatar. The actual commencement is set for early next year. The new filling station was built in conjunction with the startup of this new source.

Furthermore, to deal with the growing demand for helium in the Asian region besides China, Iwatani is now in the process of constructing a helium filling station in Jahore, a seaport located in Southern Malaysia. The scale is on the order of that of Jiaxing Helium Centre.