Gazprom Commissions Entire Liquid Helium Production Cycle

The Orenburg Region hosted today the celebrations dedicated to commissioning OG-500 helium liquefaction unit at the Orenburg Helium Plant. Before that the Plant produced only commercial gaseous helium. Taking part in the event were Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, heads of Gazprom’s specialized structural units and contracting agencies. OG-500 is an innovative cryogenic process line for producing and loading liquid helium of 4.2 million liters annual design capacity. Its state-of-the-art equipment provides for the maximum gas treatment for various impurities. The process results in a high quality product showing helium content of no less than 99.9999 per cent. The system design ensures extremely short helium cooling-off time as well as low consumption of both power and liquid nitrogen. This eliminates helium losses during the liquefaction process. Helium will be shipped by specialist tank trucks maintaining the temperature at minus 269 degrees Celsius for a long time to keep helium in a liquid state. “By commissioning the unit Gazprom completed a single liquid helium production chain – from extraction to delivery – thus minimizing its production costs. In the end the Company gets a highly marketable commodity that finds demand in the Russian and foreign markets,” said Vitaly Markelov.

Helium is a unique inert gas that features high thermal and electric conductivity and keeps its liquid state at extremely low temperatures. It is widely used in various industries: space and nuclear, rocket engineering, health care, electronics, metallurgy, advertisement, vehicle manufacturing. Gazprom Gazenergoset acted as the construction customer and Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg will act as the unit operator. Both companies are incorporated in Gazprom Group.

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