Helium produced in Climax, Saskatchewan will be sending rockets to space after Royal Helium signed a contract with a major North American space launch company.
The news came out yesterday in a written statement from Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and the helium company’s CEO, Andrew Davidson, later confirmed.
“It’s a very important contract,” Davidson expressed. “Helium is a very important resource that's operated in the background in Saskatchewan and elsewhere for years and ourselves and other good quality companies like North American Helium have done our part to bring it to the forefront.”
He added that the deal puts Royal Helium’s name on the global market and provides significant cash flow generation for the company, making it a great business transaction.
As a Saskatchewan-headquartered company, Davidson claimed its goal is to turn the helium industry into a major global player in the province.
“We've now got our resources and our name attached to the space exploration game,” he said. “I'm not sure that's happened before in this province.”
Things kick off in the spring with constructing processing facilities, a process that takes a number of months.
The next step is plugging their wells in and starting the gas flowing, which comes out as a 98 per cent helium product that is loaded into a truck and driven down south.
Saskatchewan has the unique ability to produce high quantities of helium in a very carbon-friendly way, coming principally from inert gas strips that don't have the same carbon footprint as helium produced in other parts of the world does.
“We view Saskatchewan as a terrific replacement product for some of the global supply that comes out of less favorable jurisdictions like Russia, for example,” Davidson explained. “It's a big day for the province.”
He travelled down to Swift Current to speak with local MLAs and City of Swift Current representatives about how to develop a helium refining hub right in Saskatchewan, as it currently has to be sent to a liquefaction plant in the US.
According to their website, Royal Helium controls over 1,000,000 acres of prospective helium land across southern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta.