In our country successfully completed an experiment that did not just destroy the monopoly of the United States in a strategically important area, but will bring Russia into her world leaders.
The dusty road Orenburg moving tractor with imperceptible to the layman tank. Familiar to those places summer sun warmed the air to nearly +40 ° C, imported air conditioners can not cope with the heat and so drivers, spitting on them, go with the windows open. Few people realize that inside a huge tank reigns almost cosmic chill of minus 269 ° C, which only 4 ° C above the temperature of absolute zero.
Such a thermos on wheels — is the result of the work of our engineers from OOO "Gazprom Orenburg" and the NGO "Geliymash." It is designed to carry liquefied helium. In the experiment, the tank was filled with helium and sent to Orenburg city Novotroick that is 250 km from the district center (not very good at the track). The goal of the experiment — check the design in real roads.
Yesterday tractor safely reached Novotroitsk where helium was transferred to City Hospital free number 1, which is a gift waiting impatiently.
"Without helium, there is no life for modern medicine: it is very important for our patients," — said the deputy chief medical officer Novotroitskaya hospital number 1 Andrey Kiselev. Note that the helium used to work in a highly sought after area imager.
Now the tank went way back, but the most crucial part of the experiment has been successfully completed.
You would think that the development of our engineers is local, but it is not so.
The world is broken the U.S. monopoly
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NGO "Geliymash" Mikhail Gerasimenko talks about his child with an almost childlike enthusiasm:
"Can you imagine such a length — insert inside a cocoon. Clearance of 3 mm. What is the exact geometry must be maintained and the cocoon and the outer casing. All this is done! "
The project was conceived tanks in Soviet times, but only managed to put it now. Moreover, its creators admit that it would have been impossible without the Soviet reserve and note that the development confirms the high status of Russian science.
"This product has implemented 170 new technological solutions. This could be materialized only in highly educated and highly developed country, which is Russia ", — said General Director of NGO" Geliymash "Vadim Udut.
What is remarkable — to this day the only producers of such tanks remained the United States. Therefore, the entire world, including Russia, had to buy or borrow from the Americans on the tank car at fantastic prices. Now the U.S. monopoly is broken, because our design meets all international standards.
"The U.S. monopoly in this market ceased. We no longer depend on them. This provides substantial savings. The cost of helium will be greatly reduced, "- said General Director of OOO" Gazprom Orenburg "Sergei Ivanov.
Helium — a strategic resource
In order to be properly assess the economic and even political significance of our tanks, it should look at the market of helium and Russia's place in it. Though he is ignored by most of the media, but keeps a lot of interesting moments.
Helium used in the production of about 80% of mobile parts, semiconductors, liquid crystal displays, optical fibers, as well as space applications. Due to the fact that this gas is almost not affected by radiation, it is widely used in nuclear power when creating a nuclear reactor. In addition, helium is used for welding, cutting and melting of metals, medicine, and the advertising industry, for the production of electronics and in creating trains to "magnetic levitation".
The largest consumers of helium — the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific countries. In this case, the global consumption of helium increases, while remaining impervious to the economic crisis. In 2009, world consumption of that gas was 1.75 million cubic meters, in 2011 is 1.9 million cubic meters While in Europe, the growth of 2-3% per year, then in Asia Pacific 5.4% (and in China and all of 15-20% per year). According to forecasts, by 2030, the worldwide consumption of helium is 300 million cubic meters
Accordingly, the growth of consumption is growing and production of helium. And then the fun begins. World leader in the reserves of gas — Russia. We possess 34% of world reserves (us go Algeria and Qatar), but it is our contribution to world production is negligible and is only 3% (and even then only at the expense of the plant in Orenburg). Palm in this area belongs to the United States, which provide 73% of world production.
How do we become leaders?
Since helium is based on what the power of the United States? First, the right approach from the government. In 60-70 years, the U.S. government bought back the foresight to have their producers excess helium (consumption in those years was low). In this way they were able to create a large reserve capacity of 950 million cubic meters, which was sold off at a good profit in the 90s.
Russian market professionals suggest using a similar approach as ours. The fact that the foreign market is much larger internal helium, and therefore we can produce helium in reserve. Throw away large amounts of raw materials on the market now — not rational, since it will lead to lower prices. Therefore, it is appropriate to adopt the American experience, creating a gas storage facility.
What is important is that in 1996, the U.S. adopted a law on the elimination by 2015 of its national reserves of helium. Formally, this is done in order to offset the cost of building the repository, but such logic is not entirely clear, because in a growing market, the sale of raw materials on the cheap is a bit strange. Nevertheless, the United States, with policies sell stocks helium prices keep it at a low level. However, after 2015 the situation has changed and Russia will have a great chance to become the market leader.
The second reason for U.S. dominance in the market — is that they have tanks for the transportation of helium. This is very advantageous, because the volume of liquefied helium is reduced by 6 times. Fortunately, now we have a good chance to get around the U.S. on this steep turn.
However, there is one more thing — as mentioned above, helium is produced in Russia only in Orenburg. The largest reserves of gas is located in Eastern Siberia. There are fields with high helium content: Chayandinskoe, Kovyktinskoe, Sobinskoye, Chikanskoye and others with total reserves of about 20 billion cubic meters. Their development will allow m in 2020 to increase the share of Russia in the production of helium from 3% to 50%.
For these purposes, a finding based station for liquid helium. Now that Russia had the opportunity to produce their own tanks, chain should be closed. Development of Siberian oil fields has become an attractive, delivery of helium to Nakhodka profitable, and then it's up to Asian buyers, who have long been waiting for our product.
By the way, in spite of the small volume production, Orenburg helium actively bought and Europe and Asia. In particular, in the famous Hadron Collider 50% of our Orenburg helium.
So we got all the chances to get ahead in the promising market of helium. It remains the case for small — to bring to mind the development of the fields and intelligently enter into the market, so as not to inadvertently unleash it.