Board of Directors approves Gazprom’s work on developing helium industry in Russia

The Gazprom Board of Directors expressed its approval of the Company's ongoing work on implementing projects for the production and sales of helium and other noble gases.

It was highlighted that helium is one of the most sought-after of noble gases. Due to its unique properties, helium is in demand in various high-tech industries, for instance, the aerospace, nuclear and electronics industries, as well as metallurgy and healthcare.

The world's largest importer of helium is the Asia-Pacific region. In 2023, Asia-Pacific countries accounted for about 35 per cent of global consumption. The growth of helium demand in said region is expected to continue. Helium consumption in Russia is also foreseen to grow.

The Russian Federation is among the world leaders in terms of its helium reserves. Large-scale domestic production of helium is mainly provided by two enterprises of Gazprom: the Orenburg helium plant and the Amur Gas Processing Plant (GPP). The Company has its own competencies across the entire value chain, from the production and processing of high helium-content gas to the liquefaction and domestic and global supplies of helium.

The Amur GPP is the world's largest helium producer. After the plant reaches its full capacity, its helium output will be at 60 million cubic meters. In 2023, Gazprom brought two helium units of the Amur GPP to their full design capacity. The start-up operations for the equipment were performed without any participation of the western licensor. The third helium unit is currently under construction at the plant.

The unique membrane unit for helium concentrate extraction was installed at the Chayandinskoye field in Yakutia. Said unit is used to reduce the helium content in the gas fed into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline exactly to the amount to be subsequently extracted at the Amur GPP and delivered to consumers. The rest of the helium concentrate is injected into the field's formations for long-term storage. This technology ensures the sustainable use of helium reserves.

Liquid helium is delivered from the Amur GPP in special thermally-insulated containers which are carried by gas-fueled KAMAZ-5490 NEO freight trucks custom-made for Gazprom. These trucks bring the containers to the world's largest helium hub which is located in the Primorye Territory and was built by Gazprom for the servicing of such containers. From this hub, liquid helium is sent to the global market by sea and road. Since September 2023, as many as 151 thermally-insulated containers filled with 653 tons of liquid helium have been shipped to Russian and foreign consumers from the Amur GPP.

With the purpose of further development of the domestic helium industry, Gazprom actively cooperates with Russian enterprises and research institutions. For instance, there is a number of manufacturers currently engaged by the Company into organizing the batch production of thermally-insulated containers.

Information Directorate, Gazprom