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Developments in the Helium Market

NEW YORK, December 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Helium is a natural resource and being one of the coldest substances known in its liquid form, has allowed helium to be implemented into a wide variety of applications. According to a research report by Decision Databases, helium is widely used in NMR machines, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and nuclear reactors as a coolant. The use of helium in MRI equipment is a significant factor which is anticipated to increase the demand for helium in the near future. The report indicates that by product, the global helium market can be classified into gaseous helium and liquid helium. Based on applications, the global helium market can be segmented into health care, aerostatics, transportation, electronics, cryogenics, semiconductor & fibre optics, leak detection & gas chromatography, welding and others. Geographically, North America led the market in terms of consumption in 2016 and it occupies the largest share of the helium market. Bruin Point Helium Corp. (TSX-V: BPX), Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: APD), Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), Gazprom PAO (OTC: OGZPY)

A research report by Technavio estimates that the global helium market will grow at a CAGR of around 9% between 2016 and 2020, at which point the market will exceed $1.5 billion. The research indicates that the packaged mode of distribution accounts for 49% of the overall market share. Consumers with small volume requirements are usually catered to through the packaged distribution mode, where compressed gas is sold in metal cylinders, which are often delivered to the customer's facilities on-demand. Chandrakumar BJG, Lead Analyst, Chemicals & Materials, Technavio Research, explained, "Vendors are offering a series of packaging solutions, and are replacing metal packaging by composite materials made of plastic or aluminum. These cylinders are lightweight and offer immense benefits in terms of energy savings. Several companies like Luxfer Group and Time Technoplast have adopted composite cylinders in their distribution channel."

Bruin Point Helium Corp. (TSX-V: BPX) is currently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker 'BPX'. The company just announced breaking news this morning that, "Mr. Frank Jacobs, CEO is pleased to provide an overview of the helium industry as well as forecast targets made by industry analysts and experts. Our goal here is to offer a compilation of third-party information for shareholders and potential shareholders.

The price of helium has doubled over the past decade and experts predict demand for the gas will continue to grow. According to research firm, Technavio, the helium market is expected to see a compound growth rate of circa 9% for the next 3 three years. And market dynamics signal further potential upswings in the price of the gas.

Helium quickly escapes the earth's atmosphere, meaning recovery is only viable from underground deposits. Often a by-product of natural gas extraction, economically viable helium concentrations may begin at 0.5%. Helium's boiling and melting points are the lowest of any element, meaning it only exists as a gas on earth except in the most extreme cold conditions. This makes helium unique and increasingly important for cooling applications such as in nuclear reactors, semiconductors, lasers, light bulbs, superconductivity, instrumentation, and cryogenics. Healthcare applications make up the largest share of helium consumption today, with MRI machines alone accounting for over 20% of total helium demand. MRI machines continue to become more commonplace in hospitals throughout the world, providing a clear opportunity for the commodity and a stable outlook for the helium market.

More recently, new applications have emerged that elevate helium market forecasts even higher. Innovative aerospace projects, such as Lockheed Martin's hybrid airships that offer a more efficient and effective way of transporting freight to and from remote areas, and Google's Project Loon, which aims to provide internet throughout the world though helium filled balloons, promise long-term potential in the market. Helium is also increasingly being used in technology and electronics applications. Major firms, such as Western Digital and Netflix, are using helium to increase the speed and density of hard drives to provide faster access to data. The benefits of helium to electronic hard drives are immense - helium hard drives can reduce weight-to-data ratio by 30% and energy consumption by 23% and run four to five degrees cooler, vastly improving performance and product lifetime. According to Western Digital, whose subsidiary HGST released the first helium hard drive, the storage density results in a significantly lower cost per gigabyte and a lower total cost of ownership.

Additional details regarding Bruin Point's operations and timeline will be available in the coming months. For more information about Bruin Point, please visit About Bruin Point Helium - Bruin Point Helium Corp., headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, is exploring its acreage for helium covering 17,767 acres in the southeast Carbon County district of Utah. Holding potentially significant helium reserves, Bruin Point Helium is poised to capture the opportunity offered by rising helium prices due to growing demand for helium globally being driven by new technology-based applications Bruin Point Helium Corp. is listed on the TSX Ventures Exchange."

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is a leading industrial gas company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Praxair produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. On November 15, 2017, the company notified bulk liquid helium customers worldwide of increases in helium prices of up to 10%, depending upon the region, effective January 1, 2018, or as contracts permit. This adjustment is in response to continuing cost inflation impacting crude and refined helium, including the most recent U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced price increase, as well as higher distribution costs worldwide. Praxair continues to make investments and enhancements in capacity and the efficiency of its helium operations worldwide; this adjustment will further enable the company to continue to deliver high levels of supply reliability.

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: APD) is a world-leading Industrial Gases company in operation for over 75 years. On June 27, 2017, the company announced it has been awarded the industrial gases supply to support the capacity expansion of the Tianjin facility of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), one of the world's leading semiconductor foundries and the largest and most advanced foundry in mainland China. To support the customer's expansion, Air Products will build an on-site nitrogen plant and leverage its existing air separation unit and liquid gases capacity to supply a broad range of high-purity bulk gases, including nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and helium, as well as compressed dry air. SMIC's Tianjin facility is located in the state-level Xiqing Economic and Technological Development Area (XEDA), a key electronics industry base in the northern China city. The current facility has been using Air Products' high-purity nitrogen, oxygen, argon and helium since 2004 for producing 8-inch (200mm) wafers.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. Earlier this year, the company announced the expansion of its award-winning WD Red® and WD Red Pro NAS hard drives lineup with the introduction of 10TB capacity models optimized for use in personal, home and small to medium business NAS systems. Western Digital has shipped more than 15 million helium-based high capacity drives into multiple applications, including for NAS systems, to date and is continuing to support customers with higher capacities and outstanding reliability. Designed with Western Digital's HelioSeal® helium-technology, the WD Red 10TB hard drive provides higher capacity and performance to meet the increasing storage needs of always-on, single-to-8-bay NAS systems. The helium-based design enables a 25 percent capacity increase from the WD Red 8TB NAS storage drive.

Gazprom PAO (OTC: OGZPY) is a global energy company focused on geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and sales of gas, gas condensate and oil, sales of gas as a vehicle fuel, as well as generation and marketing of heat and electric power. On November 29, 2017, the company announced that the Gazprom Board of Directors commended the Company's efforts with regard to the implementation of the gas processing strategy in the Russian Federation. The Amur GPP, the largest natural gas processing facility in Russia and one of the biggest in the world, is under construction in the east of the country. The plant will annually process 42 billion cubic meters of gas from the Yakutia and Irkutsk gas production centers. Along with commercial gas, the GPP will produce helium, ethane, propane, butane and other components valuable for the petrochemical sector. The first two of the six process trains will become operational in 2021.

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