Air Products and MATHESON Break Ground for New Wyoming Helium Plant

Oct 12, 2010, 12:39 ET from Air Products

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD) and MATHESON, a member of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) group, today announced that on-site construction has commenced on a new, jointly-owned liquid helium production plant near Big Piney, Wyoming.  The plant, designed to produce 200 million standard cubic feet per year at start-up, with expectations for future expansion to 400 million standard cubic feet per year, would process crude helium produced by a natural gas processing facility that would be operated by Cimarex Energy Co.

The Cimarex facility, which is currently under construction, will process natural gas from the Riley Ridge Field in Wyoming, one of the largest helium-rich natural gas fields in the United States.  The Riley Ridge field is believed to contain sufficient helium reserves to support production for decades.  Production at the new Wyoming plant is anticipated to commence in 2011.

Air Products, the global leader in helium production, has pioneered many of the helium extraction, production, distribution and storage technologies used in the industry today.  Air Products maintains the world's largest helium production and distribution system and operates numerous facilities around the world.

"The Big Piney plant will further diversify our helium source portfolio and enhance our ability to reliably serve our customer base," said John Van Sloun, general manager - Worldwide Helium at Air Products.  "We are excited to be involved with this project as a direct participant because it will enable us to provide high on stream operations and reliable supply."  Van Sloun added, "Air Products continues to look for other helium source opportunities where we can participate both as an investor and an operator."

MATHESON manages the global helium business of TNSC under the name MATHESON Global Helium.  TNSC is the leading helium supplier in Japan, and is one of only five major industrial gas companies in the world with direct access to helium sources.

"The helium produced from the Big Piney Plant will help to solidify MATHESON's helium supply for the long term and will give us the opportunity to grow our business.  We are pleased that our newest source will be located in Wyoming, close to our existing supply from ExxonMobil, which will enable us to have a simple, efficient and reliable supply chain to serve our customers located in the U.S. and Asian markets," said Phil Kornbluth, executive vice president, International and Helium for MATHESON.

To view the complete news release, visit Air Products' online Press Room at

***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2009.

SOURCE Air Products