Trio join forces to create Qatar helium facility

qatarheliumprojectjvsignin_449Buzwair Gases, Iwatani Corporation and LNG Japan Corporation have joined forces in a joint venture agreement to create liquid and gaseous helium transfilling and ISO container logistics and maintenance facilities in Qatar.

The venture was officially signed on the dotted line in Tokyo on the 8th June 2013, with commissioning expected for November (2013).

The signing ceremony (pictured) for the joint venture agreement was held under the attendance of the heads of the three companies and executive management of the Partners.

Iwatani is the first Asian Company which has acquired the right to purchase liquid helium directly from Qatar with the commissioning of the new Helium Ⅱ Project. The liquid helium is extracted from the associated gas through the process of LNG production in one of the world’s largest LNG plants in Qatar. Iwatani will purchase approximately 8 million cubic meters per year of helium from the summer of 2013.

watani requires ISO container logistics and maintenance and recovery of the residual gas close to the liquid helium production supply source in Qatar, from where it will collect and export liquid helium. The company aims to build an effective and competitive logistics chain with the cooperation of Buzwair and LNG Japan, who both have extensive business experiences in Qatar.

The venture, named Gulf Helium Services, represents the first helium transfilling operation in Qatar, and will be a significant expansion of helium value-added technology business for the State of Qatar.

The newly formed company will be focused on leading-edge technology, gas handling efficiencies for ultra high purity helium (99.9999%), up to 300 bar filling pressure, and regional product security. For Iwatani, it is hoped that the venture will ensure stable supply of helium to ensure its customers worldwide demand is met.

For Buzwair, a long established provider of industrial, specialty and medical gases in Qatar, the venture represents a further important step in its focused and niched expansion strategy in the region, developing specialised products and services coupled to international operating standards. Buzwair also believes this partnership complements the Vision 2030 of Qatar, targeting a stimulating business climate capable of attracting foreign funds and technologies and of encouraging national investments.

gasworld understands that the new facility will also be fully equipped to carry out ISO container inspection and certified maintenance and repairs.

The JV – A factfile

The newhelium transfill facility is located at the West Side Support Services Area Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar, around 15km from the QatarⅡHelium Plant.

In terms of its business function, the facility will provide:

  • Liquid and gaseous helium transfilling
  • Liquid helium ISO container transportation
  • Liquid helium ISO container maintenance

The shareholding of the JV comprises as follows:

  • Buzwair 51%
  • Iwatani 25%
  • LNG Japan 24%

LNG Japan has been a shareholder of Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (Ras Gas) since 1997 as an energy trading house, and has gained significant experience operating in Qatar.