Environmentally Focused Company Growing
Shielding and protecting much more than just your vehicle from the environment is a prime objective for BTL Liners in Prineville.
The “Built to Last” manufacturer of industrial grade polyethylene tarps, covers and liners is experiencing amazing growth and the near future looks bright. The company has recently evolved into a cutting-edge supplier to the hungry energy sector, eco landfills and discriminating golf course designers worldwide.
“We have projects and clients all over the globe in all fields, headquartered right here in Central Oregon,” said Senior Vice President Michael Baron. “The company was started in 1981 and based out of Bend. It was primarily a car and truck cover company known as Bend Tarp and Liner.”
Seeing a ripe opportunity, Baron came on board in 2010 after a successful stint in the commercial real estate world.
In the 1980s, Bend Tarp and Liner recognized a need for a stronger, lighter liner material to replace the typical HDPE, PVC and EPDM liners. Engineers developed a thicker double-scrim RPE (reinforced polyethylene) material than had ever been seen in the marketplace, offering a competitive, high-strength product that could be prefabricated and installed quickly and cost effectively.
“We co-ventured with another company and manufactured the first polyethylene liner material (RPE),” he explained. “It’s basically a woven, coated material that started getting really good traction and quickly became the standard for the industry.”
In the industrial energy fields, BTL is at the forefront of supplying the booming oil, mining and natural gas fields with containment products of unrivaled quality and design. Hydraulic fracturing is a common practice in the exploration of natural gas and the safe, durable containment devices from BTL are essential tools in protecting the environment. Frac pads and site liners prevent accidents from contaminating soil and groundwater. Their covers conserve energy and protect fragile wildlife for these controversial but essential hydraulic fracturing operations across the country.
BTL Liners provides containment systems for well-known energy rich finds including the Bakken, Marcellus and Eagle Ford oil fields. From green, LEED certified geotextiles to solutions for environmental mitigation, BTL supports a wealth of applications to benefit and improve the planet.
With the roaring success of this amazing material, they began a series of expansions from a 4,000-square-foot facility in the early 1990s, to their current home office in Prineville, a state-of-the art, 84,000-square-foot welding and fabrication facility and corporate headquarters near the new Apple and Facebook data centers.
“Six years ago we stepped up and sold the building in Bend to build the new plant. After 2007 things started to unravel. Golf courses were about 40 percent of our business and decisions had to be made for the future. We shortened the name to BTL and rebranded ourselves as “Built To Last” Liners as we became more global.”
Since pioneering the development of their exclusive, reinforced polyethylene products three decades ago, BTL has been the industry recognized leader in RPE liners, with sales volumes approaching 50,000,000 square feet annually, all while maintaining the highest standards of customer service and exceptional quality.
“With new fracking technology, we saw a need for containment liners for areas as big as five square acres. Each well location requires up to four million gallons per site to complete the process. We have several clients from Montana to Pennsylvania who developed large above-ground cylindrical tanks that we line to provide the water, another great application for our liners. The entire drilling pad or site has to be lined before any trucks and drilling rigs come in per state, county and EPA regulations.”
BTL also makes an insulated floating cover that rests on top of the water to prevent freezing. Water must be heated to about 80 degrees for the fracking and it can’t freeze in colder climates. In summer, regular evaporation occurs and they provide an evaporative solar cap too.
“We love the diversity,” he said. “From covers for county landfills and lake liners for golf courses, to covers for water generated as a byproduct of the winery business that needs to be treated and purified in lined pits and tanks. Almost every sector.”
Baron sees the golf course sector coming back and the vital energy sector very much alive.
“We’re providing 35 families with a stable income in a county among the highest unemployment rates in the country and we’re doing overtime almost every week and even considering a second shift providing stable jobs for our family of employees.”
In addition to its catalog of containment liners outfitting the oil and natural gas industries, its product line furnishes materials for recreational pond and lake liners, ranch and farm tarps, waterscape projects and hazardous containment solutions.
“I have a true passion for the business,” Baron said. “What’s most rewarding is that I’m a demand chaser and it gets very exciting when you’re in an industry that has a high demand. It makes it really easy to get up early in the morning and work long days.”
If there’s a company that will stand the test of time, Baron believes it’s his.
“We’ve seen gross revenues show a steady uptick every year since the recession. We take it day by day, but there are always issues. It’s an Oregon product and the raw materials are manufactured here in North America and we’re very proud of that.”
BTL Liners is located at 3451 SW Empire Drive in Prineville. For more info visit them online at www.btlliners.com or call 541-447-0712.