In the coming year, Messer will be delivering helium to Siemens Healthcare in Erlangen, Germany, for use in the production of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.

Usage in MRI technology is one of the single biggest applications for helium, while Siemens is one of the leading producers of MRI equipment worldwide, for medical diagnostic use in hospitals and doctors’ practices.

Such equipment permits patient tomography, without the need for x-rays or gamma radiation. Liquid helium is required to cool the superconducting magnets in the tomography equipment, thereby maintaining the powerful magnetic field that imaging requires.

Messer has today revealed will deliver the helium from its location in Austria.

At a time when helium is in notoriously tight supply, Messer is well-placed to ensure reliable supply to its customer base. In Gumpoldskirchen near Vienna, Messer operates the largest helium tank storage facility, with a capacity of 113,000 litres

From there, companies throughout Europe are supplied with helium in both liquid and gas form. Messer has a long-term supply contract with Russian company Cryor, which provides the German gases company with direct access to one of the most reliable sources of helium in the world.

This certainty of supply is seen as one of the main reasons that Siemens chose to enter into its cooperation agreement with Messer.