Company History


    The Midwest Steel story starts in 1957 when our founder, Richard Kralovetz, launched an empire with just two things: A sturdy truck and an ambitious plan to purchase and recycle batteries and scrap metal on the West Coast at refineries, plants, and military bases. 

    Today, Midwest Steel is a multigenerational family-owned and operated business proud to serve America’s vital petroleum and chemical industries from coast to coast. We offer a broad range of mission-critical services, including the dismantling and demolition of oil refineries, tanks, plants, and much more. 

    Starting in 1957, our founder Richard Kralovetz built a reputation for integrity and fair dealing that earned him contracts to purchase scrap metal from the oil and gas, defense, and aerospace industries in California and Arizona. Before long, his clients were asking him to handle their dismantling and demolition requirements as well. By meeting that demand, the Midwest Steel Company was born in 1968.

    Midwest Steel Company History Timeline:

    • 1957 – Our founder, Richard Kralovetz begins a battery recycling business.
    • 1968 – Midwest Steel Company is founded.
    • 1976 – Midwest Steel begins selling surplus process equipment
    • 1984 –  Midwest Steel opens 20-acre equipment yard in Texas
    • 1997 – Richard Kralovetz retires and turns leadership over to his daughter, Tammy.
    • 2001 – Midwest Steel sells a complete ammonia plant for relocation to Asia.
    • 2012 – Midwest Steel launches scrap metal management program at local plants and refineries.
    • 2018 – Midwest Steel celebrates 50 years in business. 
    • 2018 – Midwest Steel wins Houston Business Round Table Best of the Best Award
    • 2023 – Midwest Steel wins top award for safety from National Demolition Association 


    Over the following twenty years, Midwest Steel grew and expanded its range of operations across the United States, providing dismantling and demolition services to all of the major oil, gas, and petrochemical companies. With a proven track record for superior performance and maximum prices for scrap metal, our clients called upon Midwest Steel again – to develop outlets for surplus equipment with potential for reuse. 

    Soon Midwest Steel Company became a major player in the used equipment business, purchasing a 20-acre yard in Houston and hiring an experienced equipment sales force. In the process, Midwest Steel earned an even greater share of the demolition market sector by paying its customers the highest prices for scrap metal and surplus equipment.

    As a logical extension to its plant dismantling and used equipment business, Midwest Steel also responded to the requests of its customers as an outlet for sales of complete plants, including a complete oil refinery and a huge DuPont ammonia plant that currently operates in Yinchuan, China.

    As an unexpected result of its success in selling complete plants, Midwest Steel also developed a niche in dismantling plants for relocation. Each year, we dismantle several plants for being relocated by our customers or their engineering consultants, cryogenic gas plants, oil and gas facilities, chemical process units, and fertilizer plants that we have already dismantled during the first 3 months of 2015.


    Richard Kralovetz retired in 1997 and turned the reins over to his daughter, Tammy Horton, who helms the daily operations of Midwest Steel to this day. Tammy has faithfully followed her father’s business plan, and in the subsequent 18 years, she and her staff have earned dozens of commendations, national top 20 ranking, international recognition, and preferred contractor status for dozens of the world’s leading industrial corporations.

    To this day, Midwest Steel continues to evolve. In these times of heightened security, our customers needed a contractor to purchase all of the scrap metal generated by maintenance, operations, and capital projects. But unlike conventional scrap metal buyers, they needed a company that could supply not only containers and trucks but also workers and drivers with specific training, who have passed stringent background checks.  

    With its unique set of attributes Midwest Steel was a perfect fit, and we currently service scrap metal programs at a 327,000 barrel-per-day refinery, offshore and port facilities, and several petrochemical plants along the Gulf of Mexico.

    Midwest Steel attributes much of its success to a continuous improvement over its company history process that focuses on providing the services our customers need, with performance and pricing that are unmatched. As a result, Midwest Steel has become a sole-source provider for many of our clients, and over 98% of our projects are performed for repeat customers.


    At Midwest Steel, our experienced dismantling and demolition professionals operate at facilities throughout North America, providing them with a wide range of services. 

    Our team of dismantling and demolition experts will visit your work site to offer free, no-obligation estimates and complimentary project planning assistance.

    Contact a member of our Business Development team at (713) 991-7843 to discuss how Midwest Steel can provide your business with the highly specialized solutions you need for your dismantling, demolition, and salvage needs.