Messer has concluded a long-term supply agreement for liquid helium with the Russian company Cryor.

This agreement, in respect of which the European Commission had to give its consent, gives the owner-managed industrial gas company direct access to one of the most reliable helium sources in the world.

Messer transports helium in its own vacuum super insulated tankers from Orenburg to filling plants in France, Austria and Switzerland. Europe's largest helium tank farm, with a capacity of 113,000 litres - equivalent to the filling of one billion balloons -, is located at the

Messer group's Austrian site in Gumpoldskirchen near Vienna. From here, liquid and gaseous helium is transported to European customers. This allows Messer to ensure the long-term supply of helium to its customers and to further develop its core business.

In its liquid state, helium has the lowest boiling point of all gases at minus 269 degrees Celsius and is therefore the coldest liquid known. The inert gas is used as a coolant where extremely cold temperatures lower than minus 200 degrees Celsius need to be produced.

Helium is used as a coolant for superconducting magnets for medical diagnostics, in cryogenics, as a protective gas in metal protective welding, in deep-sea breathing appliances, in determining the age of rocks and as a filling gas for balloons and airships.

A very low percentage of the atmosphere is comprised of helium, making its production through air separation extremely uneconomical. In a few locations around the world, it is obtained from helium-rich natural gas.