The $17 million helium liquefaction facility in Florence, S.C., will be an extension of GE’s current MR production plant there. The plant uses roughly 5.5 million liters of helium a year in the manufacture of MR devices, the company said. In addition, GE needs another six million liters per year to service MR systems already at health care facilities.
The shortages of helium in recent years along with increased demand led GE to invest $1 million in boosting helium efficiency – including developing proprietary ways to conserve, recycle and re-use helium.
The 5,000-square-foot facility will create 50 jobs, 10 of which will be permanent positions, the company said.
“With Florence’s strong workforce and the state’s positive business climate, we’ve led the health care industry globally in MR innovation, and we’ll continue that focus on global innovation and local investment with this new facility,” said Trina Folk, plant manager for GE Healthcare in Florence, in the press release.
GE is the seventh largest industrial employer in Florence and has been a South Carolina employer for 30 years.