The US-based industrial gases major Praxair Inc on July 12, 2016 signed a long-term agreement for the purchase of liquid helium from Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGNiG), a leader in the Polish natural gas market, as well as the only producer of helium in Central Europe.
PGNiG owns and operates a helium production facility located in Poland that extracts and refines helium from gas produced by its domestic natural gas fields. The company has been consistently producing helium from this plant for supply to the global market since the late 1970’s.
“Through this agreement, Praxair gains a high-quality, proven source that enhances the efficiency and reliability of our helium supply into Europe,” said Amer Akhras, general manager of Praxair’s global helium business.
Praxair’s leadership in the helium industry dates back to its development of the first plant for extracting helium from natural gas in 1917. Today, Praxair is a fully-integrated and global leader in the production and distribution of industrial grade helium, with numerous operations throughout the world. Helium is used in many applications, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fibre optics and semiconductor manufacturing, breathing atmospheres, balloons and leak detection.