Rising on the plains: This Colorado plant is one of a handful in the world to produce helium

Denver Post

CHEYENNE WELLS — Out on Colorado’s southeastern plains, not far from the Kansas state line, there’s a rare kind of plant that processes a natural resource found in limited amounts globally and produces something the world literally can’t get enough of.

The Ladder Creek plant just west of Cheyenne Wells is one of a handful of sites that extracts helium from natural gas after an involved process that freezes it, turns helium gas into a liquid and funnels it into waiting tanker trucks. Helium might make most people think of party balloons, but birthdays and election night celebrations aren’t the reason why the price of helium has more than doubled over the last 18 months or so.