26th January 2017
Surprise, surprise, gas cylinder prices are on the rise
A scenario which most labs and lab managers will now be routinely accustomed, prices for bulk supplied gas such as cylinders are set to rise, yet again.
On the 15th of December 2016, as reported by gasworld.com, Praxair announced price increases for their customers in North America. Effective from the 1st of January 2017 there will be a 15% price increase affecting nitrogen, oxygen, argon, hydrogen, helium and CO2 gases. Not only this, price increases will also be applied to facility fees and rent.
For bulk gas customers of Praxair in North America, this is the 3rd price increase they will have been subjected to in just 12 months after a 10-20% price rise for bulk gas and facility fees in early 2016 and a further 15% increase for industrial gases in July.
These price increases have come thick and fast for lab managers and will slowly be eating away at already pressurised lab budgets. One must wonder at what point lab managers say “enough is enough” and look for an alternative source of supply.
The trouble with changing supply is that there are very few players in the market with really only Linde, Praxair and Air Products supplying the entire North American market. This means that there is not a lot of purchasing power for labs to negotiate the costs of their gas contract.
There is one alternative though. For labs using nitrogen and hydrogen gases to supply instruments such as Mass Spectrometers, Gas Chromatographs or ELSDs, a gas generator can remove the burden of constant price increases from the major gas corporations. With a gas generator, gas is supplied on demand so there is no need to rely on gas cylinder deliveries, there is no need to worry about running out of gas and there is no need to expect and simply accept regular price increases as the norm.
Peak's (from left to right) Genius, i-FlowLab, Precision and Infinity Series gas generators for labs
Furthermore, Peak Scientific have developed a flexible payment gas supply plan, called FlexFlow. FlexFlow matches the monthly payment pricing structure of gas cylinders but gives all of the benefits of a gas generator with fixed prices, gas on demand and no additional hidden costs such as ongoing delivery costs or energy surcharges.
FlexFlow has been proven to provide savings of up to 50% for high usage labs and with price increases so commonplace with the major bulk gas suppliers the percentage saving labs can experience from FlexFlow is, like the price of bulk supplied gas, only getting higher.