Saskatchewan looking to be a global player in helium market

Helium is more than filling up balloons in Saskatchewan.

The province announced it’s Helium Action Plan on Monday, with a goal of producing 10% of the global helium by 2030.

Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre noted that helium will have a significant economic benefit for Saskatchewan, creating 500 permanent jobs along with supporting thousands of construction and service sector jobs. The Saskatchewan government is planning to create 15 helium purification and liquefaction facilities and is hoping to generate exports worth more than $500 million.

Earlier this year North American Helium opened up the largest helium facility in the country, the Battle Creek Helium Purification Facility which is located in the southwest corner of the province.

In May, Royal Helium based in Saskatoon announced a significant helium discovery at its Climax project which has the potential to be one of the biggest helium discoveries in the province.

Along with the economic benefits, Eyre says the helium created in Saskatchewan is environmentally friendly. “Our unique geology means we can produce helium from dedicated wells that yield high concentrations that have a low greenhouse gas emission profile. Helium produced in Saskatchewan is up to 99% less carbon intensive than in other jurisdictions.”

Prices for helium has increased over the past few years and that trend is expected to continue due to increased demand and shortage of supply.

The global helium market could potentially double by 2030 according to market estimates.

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