In the Matter of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. a corporation #00003

Submission Number:
00003
Commenter:
Donald Linn
Organization:
Indiana U Purdue U Fort Wayne
State:
Indiana
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. a corporation
Matter Number:

161 0045

The NMR-MR community should be concerned. We all know that helium costs have been increasing for some time that has squeezed budgets. We have had a decade for helium prices increasing at >10% a year. Who knows what the proposed Airgas-Air Liquide combo will do to all gas prices. My guess is not good. Nonprofits, health care and research institutions use such large quantities of these commodities. Stable prices require robust markets and we have had neither lately. This merger would appear to exacerbate the problem. Currently there are a big three in international helium – Air Products, Praxair and Exxon (Airgas buys here and re-packadges). We have had a decade for helium prices increasing at >10% a year. Who knows what the proposed Airgas-Air Liquide combo will do to all gas prices. My guess is not good. Nonprofits, health care and research institutions use such large quantities of these commodities. Stable prices require robust markets and we have had neither lately. This merger would appear to exacerbate the problem. Currently there are the big three in international helium – Air Products, Praxair and Exxon (Airgas buys here and re-packadges). What is not recognized in this divesture is the price of helium. In the NMR-MR community gas prices are tied to helium because helium is offered typically in a contract with other gases and cryogens. In the words of another colleague: "This is a vitally important issue. Also, I doubt the newly discovered helium in Tanzania is going to make it to market without piggy-backing on the fiscal benefits of methane, which I did not see claimed in any articles. In addition, Tanzania is not exactly close to where the helium markets are. “ Thanks! DL