LONDON (ICIS)--Air Products’ HELIOS joint venture with Algerian state energy major Sonatrach has agreed two industrial gases deals in Algeria with a combined value of $100m, the US-based company said on Wednesday.
Under the first deal, Sonatrach will recover helium from two liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, GL1Z and GL3Z, and that helium will be delivered to HELIOS’ liquid helium plant in Arzew.
The HELIOS plant is an important part of Air Products’ global helium portfolio, and the new feedstock will increase the amount of liquid helium produced by the joint venture plant.
“The potential for helium production in Algeria is significant thanks to its large, established natural gas industry and LNG operations”, said Walter Nelson, vice president and general manager at Air Products' Global Helium division.
“Connecting the HELIOS plant to Sonatrach’s other LNG facilities in Arzew is a further illustration of how unlocking Algeria’s helium potential can further diversify the helium supply chain and improve the reliability of supply for customers in Africa and Europe,” Nelson added.
Under a related deal, Air Products will design and build, and HELIOS will own and operate, two new air separation units (ASU) in Algeria.
One ASU will be located in the Hassi Messaoud district, and the second in Arzew.
Once in operation, these plants will produce nitrogen, oxygen and argon, which will be supplied to the Algerian and Maghreb markets through Sonatrach’s subsidiary, COGIZ.
Details about the plants’ capacities or expected timelines for start-up were not disclosed.