Dr Shahira Abdullah: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how much helium is imported into Singapore every year; (b) what are the main uses of helium in Singapore; and (c) how the unnecessary use of helium is discouraged in Singapore given that helium is a rare resource with medical uses that will be exhausted in less than 200 years.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. Data on helium imports is aggregated with “other rare gases”. As such, the Government is unable to track the specific amount of helium that is imported into Singapore each year.
2. Helium is used to cool semiconductor components and the superconducting magnet in magnetic resonant imaging machines due to its high thermal conductivity. Helium is also used in some healthcare settings such as to inflate intra-aortic balloon pumps. Firms have a natural incentive to not waste helium to minimise costs.