PRAXAIR will be increasing its industrial, medical and speciality gases in the US and helium worldwide.

The US-based industrial gas giant increases bulk oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide by 10 per cent, argon, hydrogen and helium by 15 per cent and cylinder rental fees by five percent.

According to the company the actions are being implemented in response to strong demand as well as continued energy, logistics and other operational cost pressures for all products. For helium, the high cost of crude gas and refined liquid purchases are additional factors.

Praxair is also advising customers in the US of modified or additional regional charges for recovery of premium energy costs. Electricity and/or natural gas are the largest cost factors in the production of industrial gases.

'Throughout last year's disruptions due to hurricanes and interruptions in feed sources, Praxair maintained the highest level of reliability in the industry and provided our customers with the products they needed. We are committed to maintaining this high level of performance in an environment of strong demand and increased costs,' said Jim Fuchs, president of Praxair's North American industrial gases business.

The increases are effective immediately, except as otherwise permitted by the terms and conditions of customer contracts.