Source: Germany Trade & Invest, July 1, 2021
Russia is ready to become the world market leader for helium production. Moscow’s ambitions are very timely, says Fares Kilzie, chairman of the board of Creon Group. According to Germany Trade & Invest, in order to increase capacities for production, storage and transportation, German technologies will also be in demand.
Helium’s important role in the global economy is growing, the gas is used, among others, as a refrigerant in medical technology and in the semiconductor industry. Until now, the US and Qatar have been the dominant producers of this gas. The United States accounts for 56 percent of the world’s helium supply, while Russia’s share was 3 percent.
However, with the launch of Gazprom’s Amur Gas Processing Plant (AGPP) in June 2021, the balance of power in the global helium market will change. From 2025, the AGPP will process up to 42 billion cubic meters of natural gas, mainly into ethane and LNG, while the annual helium capacity will be up to 60 million cubic meters.
Moscow’s ambitions are very timely, says Fares Kilzie, chairman of the board of Creon Group. As the United States has cut helium supplies, prices around the world have risen significantly – by 20% only in 2020 alone, to nearly $5 per cubic meter. At the same time, global demand for helium from MRI, electronics and aerospace manufacturers is growing.
According to the head of Creon Group, the annual production in Russia as a result of the implementation of new projects can grow to 80 million cubic meters of helium, which corresponds to half of today’s world production. “Russian producers will enter the niche formed following the reduction in the US supply and become the savior of the global market”, says Fares Kilzie.