Michael Curie
Headquarters, Washington
Allard Beutel
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Sept. 8, 2009
NASA Awards Helium Contract
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA has selected five companies to provide liquid and gaseous helium for 17 agency locations, including centers and facilities.

This new fixed-price requirements contract with economic price adjustment is for the acquisition of approximately 12.5 million liters of liquid helium and 235.7 million standard cubic feet of gaseous helium during a five-year period of performance starting Oct. 1. It has a maximum potential value of approximately $56.5 million. The awardees are:
  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. of Allentown, Pa., has been awarded about $18.7 million of the base contract plus options.
  • Linde LLC of Murray Hill, N.J., has been awarded $80,000 of the base contract plus options.
  • Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc., of Basking Ridge, N.J., has been awarded $3.8 million of the base contract plus options.
  • Praxair Distribution Inc. of Austin, Texas, has been awarded $553,000 of the base contract plus options.
  • Praxair Inc. of Danbury, Conn., has been awarded $33.4 million of the base contract plus options.
NASA uses helium as a cryogenic agent for cooling various materials, precision welding applications, lab use, as an inert purge gas for hydrogen systems, and as a pressurizing agent for the space shuttle's ground and flight fluid systems.

The total period of performance for all awards is five years, with a three-year base period plus two one-year options. The base contract period ends Sept. 30, 2012. Option 1 would extend the contract is from Oct. 1, 2012, to Sept. 30, 2013. Option 2 would extend the contract from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for the acquisition of helium on behalf of the agency.

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