With Saskatchewan being a leader in helium production, the commodity's liquefaction process is an interesting topic for the province.
According to a recent release from the Government of Saskatchewan, helium is used in a variety of scientific, medical, and technological applications. It cools super conducting magnets in MRI machines. Helium can separate hot gases and ultra-cold liquids during rocket launches. It's also used to make smart phones and fibre optic cable.
A recent document titled "Helium Liquefaction in Saskatchewan" took a look at the provinces potential when it comes to the commodity in the future.
"A new report looking at the feasibility of developing a commercial-scale helium liquefier in Saskatchewan has found that it could open broader helium markets, create jobs, and provide a positive financial return for owners." shared a government release last week.
This report done by the Saskatchewan Research Council tabled the economics of several scenarios when it comes to the construction and operation of a liquefier in Saskatchewan. Based on the current supply and estimated price of helium, positive ROI's are being tabled over the life of the project.
"Research is key to understanding potential opportunities and identifying barriers to investment," stated Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter in the release. The MLA for Rosetown-Elrose also stated how, "information like this is valuable to industry when making their financial decisions".
Saskatchewan based helium is currently shipped off to Colorado for the liquefaction process. The report notes that six truckloads of helium in gas form equal one truckload of liquid helium. Moving the gas into liquid form is a cost-effective method, and the ability to liquefy helium in Saskatchewan would further facilitate opportunities for producers in the overseas markets.
All of this information just means that the province is eager and willing to take a stab at becoming an industry leader. It was also shared how they want to use this information to seek federal funding through helium's position on Canada's Critical Minerals List.
"This report supports commitments in the Government of Saskatchewan's Helium Action Plan: From Exploration to Exports, to contribute to the goal of Saskatchewan producing 10 per cent of the world's helium supply by 2030."