The Long March-5 rocket seen in Hainan province before it launched China’s first mission to Mars last week. The country uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year, including to pump fuel for the rocket. Photo: Xinhua The Long March-5 rocket seen in Hainan province before it launched China’s first mission to Mars last week. The country uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year, including to pump fuel for the rocket. Photo: Xinhua
The Long March-5 rocket seen in Hainan province before it launched China’s first mission to Mars last week. The country uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year, including to pump fuel for the rocket. Photo: Xinhua

China opens first large-scale helium plant as it tries to reduce reliance on US imports

  • The noble gas is used to make hi-tech products, and nearly all of it comes from elsewhere – mainly America
  • New facility will produce a fraction of China’s needs, but its relatively low cost means more could be built

Topic |   US-China decoupling
The Long March-5 rocket seen in Hainan province before it launched China’s first mission to Mars last week. The country uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year, including to pump fuel for the rocket. Photo: Xinhua The Long March-5 rocket seen in Hainan province before it launched China’s first mission to Mars last week. The country uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year, including to pump fuel for the rocket. Photo: Xinhua
The Long March-5 rocket seen in Hainan province before it launched China’s first mission to Mars last week. The country uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year, including to pump fuel for the rocket. Photo: Xinhua
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