MURRAY HILL, N.J. and NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J., Oct. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Linde North America praised President Obama for signing legislation into law reauthorizing the Federal government's helium program, which is the source of 40% of the nation's helium. The legislation was passed last week by a bipartisan vote of the U.S Senate and House of Representatives.
Helium is critical to the manufacture of semiconductors, LCD screens, fiber optic cable and MRI scanners. Linde refines helium that comes from the Federal Helium Reserve and provides it to high-tech manufacturers, a wide range of healthcare and industrial customers as well as government agencies, under the federal In Kind program.
Linde's global head of Bulk, Helium and Rare Gases, Joe Horn said, "This legislation helps to stabilize helium markets and prevent disruptions in helium supply. It will ensure security of supply for our customers in North America now that the Federal Helium Reserve, operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), will have the funding to continue its operations, which supply Linde's Otis, Kansas, plant with a significant volume of helium."Nick Haines, Linde's head of Helium Source Development, said, "Continuation of the program is critically important to the economy because it injects market forces into the helium program, while at the same time maintaining the stability and certainty that a variety of industries depend on." The legislation authorizes BLM to gradually phase in an auction process for the sale of federal helium and institute a number of other reforms to the long-running program. Nick Haines, Linde's head of Helium Source Development, said "Phasing in the auction will ensure that the government receives fair market prices for helium while preventing market disruptions in existing supply chains. Gradually phasing in an auction of the federal helium will attract bidders, will establish a market price, and, just as importantly, will help discourage hoarding, speculation, and other disruptive behaviors that occur in unpredictable markets." Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2012 financial year, Linde generated revenue of EUR 15.280 bn ( USD 19.9 bn). The strategy of the Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, visit www.lindeus.com SOURCE Linde North America