Western International is a leading wholesale supplier of acetylene—the most efficient fuel gas for welding and cutting applications. Through additional products and services, Western provides customers with a turnkey solution for receiving acetylene and maintaining their cylinder fleets.
Western International’s strategy is to provide high-quality acetylene as a wholesale commodity product to major and independent distributors. By operating completely wholesale and facilitating all aspects of manufacturing and cylinder filling, Western enables its customers to focus on retail sales. Western gives customers a valuable, cost-effective resource for acetylene and related services while eliminating the burden associated with problematic manufacturing issues inherent in older low volume plant designs.
Western does not perceive other acetylene plants as competitors, but rather as future customers. We transform competitors into customers by placing our products on their dock at a higher quality and a lower cost than they are capable of producing.
Innovation and Research
As the largest acetylene cylinder filler in the world, Western International is setting new standards for safety, service and automation for gas wholesalers by actively pursuing research in acetylene practices. Results of this research include:
- Restoring acetylene-cylinder capacity through high-purity low-moisture filling at minus 70◦ F dew point.
- Four to six hour fill cycle to put empty cylinders into full service a day sooner than with conventional techniques.
- Mechanized high-volume repair and requalification facilities place out of service cylinders back into service in less than a day.
- Volume manufacture helps control long-term cost through high-volume raw materials purchasing and lime co-product sales.
- Dedicated account management, duplicate equipment, and reserve capacity to ensure product delivery and premium service to our customers.
Over 100 Years of Commitment
Acetylene is a gas with an extensive history dating back more than 100 years. While its properties were initially discovered in 1836, acetylene was not used until it assumed industrial importance in the 1890s.
In 1892, people began using acetylene for lighting applications, namely in car headlights. It was the invention by Charles Picard in 1901 that propelled the use of acetylene as an industrial gas. His oxy-acetylene blowpipe enabled the use of acetylene in steel welding, scarfing, hard facing, surface cementation, and oxygen cutting.
In 1917 Sam Hord founded the Burdett Oxygen Company of Texas, supplying central Texas with industrial gases. The Hord family continued to grow the business, adding the Wichita Falls Oxygen Company in Wichita Falls, East Slope Oxygen Company in Denver, and then adding Texas Oxygen Company of Dallas in 1937, followed by Western Oxygen, Inc. in Odessa in 1947. The family expanded their offering and added Compressed Gas Sales, Inc. in Abilene in 1956 and then Western Air Products, Inc. in Houston in 1968.
In 1985, W.D. Hord, Jr. opened Western International Gas & Cylinders, Inc. in Bellville, Texas with manually operated acetylene operations. By 1998, Western had fully automated plant operations including twin custom designed acetylene generators and silo calcium carbide storage, and by 2001, Western was expanding its footprint with plants in Slidell, Louisiana; Lubbock, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; and Pueblo, Colorado.
1985 Western International Gas and Cylinders, Inc. founded in Bellville, TX
1995 Conversion from manual to automated acetylene plant operations
1998 Acetylene plant expansion, unveiling twin custom designed acetylene generators and silo calcium carbide storage
1999 Slidell, LA acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
2000 Birmingham, AL acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
2000 Lubbock, TX acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
2001 Pueblo, CO acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
2001 Tampa, FL acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
2006 Sealy, TX bulk transfer / rail unloading (design and build)
2006 Henderson, NC propylene operations / depot (purchased)
2007 Geismar, LA chemical acetylene source plant (design and build)
2007 Western acquisition of BTU Gases, Inc (propylene distribution business)
2007 Lincoln, AL propylene operations / depot included in purchase of BTU Gases in 2007
2007 North Haven, CT propylene operations / depot included in purchase of BTU Gases in 2007
2008 Berwick, PA acetylene fill plant (design and build)
2009 Toledo, OH propylene operations / depot (leased)
2010 MATHESON acquisition of Western International Gas & Cylinders, Inc.
2011 Oakland, NE acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
2011 Tigard, OR propylene operations / depot (leased)
2017 Hahnville, LA chemical acetylene source plant (design and build)
2017 Modesto, CA propylene operations / depot (leased)
2018 Bakersfield, CA acetylene fill plant (acquisition)
Between 2001 and 2018 the Western footprint grew with additional locations across the country.
After all these years Western International’s culture and philosophy continues to be defined by their Safety First policy, family values, and strict business ethics. These guide their internal operations, their business relationships, and, ultimately, their products. When you partner with Western International, you partner with people who respect your
company’s needs and abilities.
From the beginning, the principles of corporate responsibility and sustainable operations have always guided Western International’s actions and decisions: to promote the wellbeing of the planet, the community, and the industries we serve, while also ensuring uninterrupted supply of product, exemplary service, and the long-term strength of Western International itself.
The principles of Safety, Quality, Customer Focus, Sustainability, and Corporate Responsibility affirm our longstanding commitment to the “Triple Bottom Line” benchmark of success in sustainable operations:
- Environmental Commitment – sustaining the planet and its resources
- Social, Community Support – supporting the best interests of the community and its people
- Governance, Compliance, Transparency – exceeding minimum government requirements to better serve our customers and community
Western’s company-wide commitment:
- Operate safely, responsibly, and without interruption
- Deliver quality consistently
- Engage our employees, customers, and all related stakeholders
- Respect the environment and communities within which we reside
- Work responsively, innovatively, and efficiently to provide the best value to the marketplace in the industries we serve