Helium processing and liquefaction hubs are key focus for Saskatchewan as the Canadian province continues on its mission to become a world leader in helium production and export over the next decade.

The Government of Saskatchewan on Thursday (17th March) said it had entered into a partnership with the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to accelerate the development of the hubs, with support of a $140,000 grant from the Ministry of Energy and Resources.

In order to make its helium processing and liquefaction ambitions a reality, the duo will develop a Helium Liquefaction Hub Study to assess technical and economic components as well as provide critical information needed to develop a commercial scale, value-added, export-oriented helium sector in Saskatchewan.

Bronwyn Eyre, Minister of Energy and Resources for the Saskatchewan Government, said, “We are already home to Canada’s largest purification facility, near Battle Creek, and liquefaction is the crucial, next step, as we aim to supply ten per cent of global helium market share by 2030.”

“Only liquid helium can be exported overseas and as many end-users require liquid helium, a provincial liquefaction facility will improve both the marketability and pricing for Saskatchewan’s significant helium resources.”

Speaking at gasworld’s Helium Super Summit in Houston last year (2021), Minister Eyre explained that Saskatchewan has the fifth-largest helium resource in the world with significant underground reserves with some attractive geology and therefore wants to surpass 150 producing helium wells.

It is hoped that by making Saskatchewan a leader in the helium market, the province will experience great economic benefits, such as 15 new helium purification and liquefaction facilities, 500 new permanent jobs and annual helium exports worth more than $500 million