As of 1st March (2011), or as contracts permit, Airgas Inc.’s operating units will increase prices on bulk and packaged industrial, medical, and specialty gases.

The prices will be rising 10-12% on average, and up to 10% for delivery and other service charges. Cylinder and bulk tank rental rates will increase 8-10% effective 1st February 2011, or as contracts permit.

The actions are in response to rising product costs from suppliers as well as operating costs at Airgas plants and distribution facilities, driven by higher power, fuel, raw material, and labour and benefits costs.

Increases in metals prices are also driving up costs for cylinders, bulk tanks, gas handling plants and equipment, and increasing regulatory and compliance costs factored into the pricing actions as well.

“Costs are rising while capacity utilisation is increasing in the wake of growing demand,” said Airgas CEO Peter McCausland.

“We continue to invest in our infrastructure in order to more efficiently meet our customers' demands while fulfilling the safety and security requirements of our industry.”