Midwest Cooling Towers Rapidly Completes Cooling Tower Reconstruction


Demolish an existing approximately 35-year old 10-cell wood cooling tower located at a Midwestern power plant and erect a new 10-cell fiberglass cooling tower on the existing concrete basin within a tight six-week outage window.


Midwest Cooling Towers took on the challenge. We managed five subcontractors, logistically working side-by-side with each other and our own crew in tackling this project.

Midwest provided engineering, design, drafting, manufacturing, material, field supervision, project management and labor. The Midwest crew consisted of three field superintendents and 70 to 80 daily laborers.

Midwest’s subsidiary company, Beetle Plastics, was also involved in the project, providing the large 20” fiberglass pipe used for the ten risers and the internal water distribution crossovers. Beetle Plastics also supplied the three 24” diameter bypass pipes, expansion joints for the risers and other various components.

Midwest was chosen for the job because of our expertise in the new concept of fiberglass crossflow cooling towers.

The contract required a minimum of eight cells operational at the end of the scheduled six-week outage.

Because of the aggressive schedule, successful completion of this project required extensive planning.

The cooling tower structure, or bent lines, and the fill grids were pre-assembled on site prior to the outage. The fan stacks, mechanical support sub-assemblies and stairways were also pre-assembled on site.

When the outage started we were able to move quickly. Demolition of the existing cooling tower took just three days.

The assembly of the fiberglass bent lines was very efficient. Eighty-one bent lines were stood in five days.

Unlike a wood tower, the columns can be one piece instead of two or three pieces. This reduces the amount of time and material it takes to put a bent line together.

The extensive planning, hard work and smart project management garnered positive results. Midwest not only met the aggressive schedule, we exceeded expectations by handing over all 10 cells to the customer four days ahead of schedule.

Most importantly, the entire project was completed with no reportable safety incidents.

In addition, Midwest Cooling Towers was recognized with a performance bonus.

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Employee Owners Drive Midwest’s Success

Midwest Cooling Towers, Inc., one of the leaders in cooling tower design and manufacturing, this year celebrates three years of successful 100% employee ownership.

Midwest Cooling Towers became 100% employee-owned October 26, 2007, when the majority stockholders sold their shares to the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP.) The landmark stock transfer capped a summer-long celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Midwest Cooling Towers, which included a family picnic and fun day in June and a company-wide conference in August.

Midwest Cooling Towers is currently one of approximately 11,000 ESOP’s in the U.S. employing over 10 million employees in businesses ranging from as little as four employees to those with thousands of employees.

Extensive academic research has shown that ESOP companies outperform non-ESOP companies. And, their employees accumulate two to three times the retirement assts of comparable employees in non-ESOP companies.

While this milestone represents a change in ownership, it does not mean a change in management or leadership. Larry Brown remains president and Terry Ogburn continues as vice president and sales manager. Other members of the management team also continue in their respective positions.

The road to employee ownership began in 1997 when 30% of the ownership of the company was transferred to an ESOP, continuing in 2001 when the ESOP ownership was increased to 44%.

Midwest Cooling Towers has its headquarters and over 200,000 sq. ft. of lumber and fiberglass manufacturing facilities in Chickasha, just southwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Midwest Cooling Towers also has regional sales offices and various construction sites around the country. Midwest employs approximately 450 people in Chickasha and Ardmore, Oklahoma, home of a subsidiary, Beetle Plastics, LLC, as well as regional offices, construction sites and other locations around the country and the world.

Midwest Cooling Towers is a complete cooling tower engineering, manufacturing and construction company. They provide new cooling towers, reconstruction, emergency repair, upgrade, maintenance services and replacement parts for all makes and models of cooling towers serving industrial and power applications throughout the United States. Midwest Cooling Towers is well respected as a leading manufacturer of fiberglass fan stacks and pressure treated cooling tower lumber for many cooling tower contractors and original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) around the world.

Midwest Cooling Towers was founded in 1987 by Larry Brown, who still serves as president, and Dave Smith. In 1988 Midwest Cooling Towers purchased five acres at the current location in Chickasha. Operations now occupy approximately 20 acres.

In 2001, Midwest merged with Pacific Cooling Services in Windsor, California, expanding Midwest Cooling Towers’ reach into the West.

On June 23, 2003, Midwest Cooling Towers finalized the acquisition of Beetle Plastics, a widely known manufacturer of reinforced fiberglass composite piping and tanks, headquartered in Ardmore, OK. The new company, Beetle Plastics, LLC, operates as a Midwest Cooling Towers subsidiary. They are the premier FRP composite pipe supplier to the cooling tower industry.

In 2004, Pacific Cooling Services was folded under the Midwest Cooling Towers name completing the merger into one company.

Through the years Midwest Cooling Towers has been able to offer customers the best value in cooling towers, cooling tower repair, parts and components, fiberglass pipe and tanks, while achieving profitable growth for its employee-owners. Larry Brown, president, offered these thoughts about the future, “100% employee ownership is a challenge that we can accomplish with the same passion that carried us through the first 20 years. It gives everyone a ‘stake in the outcome’ and we will continue to grow individually and as a company; a company of employee owners.”

For more information, contact Midwest Cooling Towers at info@midwesttowers.com, 405.224.4622, or Midwest Towers, Hwy 19 East, PO Box 1465, Chickasha, OK 73023 (map)

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Efficient Cooling Tower Demolition and Crossflow Tower Construction


Demolish two existing wood six-cell cooling towers and complete eight of 12 cells in two new fiberglass cooling towers within a tight six-week outage window.


Midwest teamed up with Precision Cooling Towers, a contractor out of Henderson, Kentucky to tackle this project.

Midwest provided engineering, design, drafting, manufacturing, material, and field assistance. Precision provided the labor to build the towers.

Although Precision was providing the labor, Midwest provided a field advisor/consultant to provide expertise in the construction of our fiberglass towers.

Midwest was chosen for the job because of our expertise in the new concept of fiberglass crossflow cooling towers.

The plant had a scheduled outage for six weeks. Four of the six cells on each tower (8 of 12 total) had to be operational at the end of the six-week outage.

Although the schedule for the six-week outage was very aggressive, the deadline was met. The entire external structure and eight of 12 cells were completed on time.

Successful completion of this project was possible due to extensive planning.

The bent lines were assembled on site prior to the outage. This allowed us to complete the demolition and erect both structures 10 days after the outage started. 110 bent lines were stood in seven days (55 per tower).

The assembly of the fiberglass bent lines was very efficient. Unlike a wood tower, the columns can be one piece instead of two or three pieces. This reduces the amount of time and material it takes to put a bent line together

The utility customer was very pleased with the finished project.

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