As the global shortages of helium continue to bite, Sub-saharan Africa gases company Afrox has assured its customers that they can look forward to continued supply of this most topical of gases.

Contracted Afrox helium customers have been enjoying prioritized supply, without feeling the effect of the global shortage. This, the company explains, is underpinned by continuous communication between Afrox and parent company, The Linde Group, ensuring delivery optimization.

Linde’s ‘diverse source portfolio’ is credited as key to this stability of supply, and Afrox has declared that this is something its contracted customers can continue to experience.

Afrox’s Marietha Strydom, explained, “In 2012 the industrial gases industry is facing one of the most prolonged shortages in the history of global helium supply.”

“This is a temporary situation that makes it challenging for us to meet all our customers’ requirements. However Afrox is doing well to secure additional helium sources and we expect the situation to improve in the medium term.”

“Despite the inevitable supply disruptions, Linde is leading the field in mitigating the effects and, as part of this international group, Afrox continues to have access to the most reliable supply for local customers,” Strydom added.

Ongoing investments, new capacity in the market, and a geographical switch in source of supply are cited as reasons for Afrox customers not to worry about helium supply in 2013 – and beyond.

“Linde purchases much of its helium in Qatar in the Middle East via the Qatar 1 Helium Project,” Strydom continued. “When Qatar 2, the world’s largest source, comes on-stream in 2013, Linde will purchase 30 percent of its output and, along with its other sources, Linde will become the leading commercial supplier of helium by 2015.”

“Afrox customers can also be assured of continued helium supply as a result of ongoing investments into the group’s global footprint, the addition of transfilling systems to supply more customers locally, a focus on loss reduction, and through helium conservation.”

“Linde has also switched Afrox’s helium supply from the USA to the European/Middle Eastern supply chain and this is proving very successful,” Strydom concluded. “The shorter shipping route means far lower losses and therefore higher availability of product.”