Worthington Industries Inc. has expanded into cylinders
manufacturing to such a degree that its operating profit
exceeded steels during the 12 months ended May 31.
this industry four years ago, making a dozen acquisitions, most
recently Garden City, Kan.-based Palmer Manufacturing &
Tank Inc. These companies build oil and gas holding tanks,
production and separator tanks, and myriad other products
containing fuels and gases from propane to helium.
Worthingtons acquisition streak was triggered by the
burgeoning U.S. shale plays and traditional Western energy
"BP (Plc), Marathon
(Oil Corp.) and major companies are investing billions around
the energy play," Worthington Cylinders president Andrew J.
Billman told AMM.
already has the "core competency needed to operate in highly
regulated industries" ranging from petroleum to barbecue grill
gas, he said.
Worthington offers its
cylinder operations "scale and financial resources. We are
trying to double production at those companies: Were
adding shifts and hiring high-skilled welders."
The business makes
tanks for hydrogen, propane and compressed natural gas and is
developing liquid natural gas tanks "for all possible uses. The
adoption of (compressed natural gas) is happening really fast,"
along with research and development on adapting vehicles to
hydrogen. "Massive steel tanks dont travel well," so
imports are limited, Billman said.