A family-run Middlesbrough firm has hosted oil and gas leaders from Saudi Arabia days after being crowned the only Teesside winner in the PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards.
ESCS, who design and build specialised systems for surface preparation and surface coating as well as corrosion control equipment, were crowned High Growth Markets Exporter of the Year ahead of businesses from across the north of England.
In the awards held at Leeds Town Hall, the firm was also shortlisted for the Micro Exporter of the Year award and narrowly missed out on the overall Exporter of the Year gong for the entire northern region.
The ESCS team includes MD Shaun McDonald’s wife, son and niece but they have gone global by setting up distributors in Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia and China, while they also have an office in Houston, USA.
The past 12 months have seen the company increase turnover by around 50% from under £500,000 to approaching £700,000 – and more than 80% of turnover is now driven by export sales.
From their base on South Tees Freight Park, ESCS export to Azerbaijan, Singapore, Bhutan, Dubai, Brazil, the United States, Kuwait, China, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Europe.
Set up just four years ago, they also export to Saudi Arabia but MD McDonald is confident of a further increase after hosting a Saudi oil and gas consortium who were impressed by demonstrations of the Tees firm’s self-built equipment.
McDonald said: “The export award was an accolade for our small but experienced and extremely knowledgeable team on the back of our massive exports growth over the past year or so.
“Thanks to that expertise and some fantastic local suppliers, from here on Teesside we can design and manufacture bespoke equipment of a truly outstanding, world-leading quality.
“That’s exactly what we were demonstrating to our visitors from Saudi, who we hope will place further orders for a major new process plant that’s being built over there.
“We’re also focusing on India as the next big growth market.”
Kirsten Donkin of PD Ports said ESCS were “worthy winners” of the award, adding: “The company’s commitment to driving export growth on a truly global platform, utilising its local supply chain to the extent it has, is nothing short of outstanding.
“The entire team is a shining example of exporting excellence in the Tees Valley and across the North.”
The ESCS export success has been partly driven by their self-built ES430, a passive fire protection (PFP) machine that sprays thick coatings of intumescent epoxy materials to protect steel structures from the threat of fire on refineries, chemical plants and oil rigs.
They recently exported their first PFP unit to Brazil, winning the £40,000 order with a fabrication contractor ahead of some of the world’s biggest manufacturers.
• Pictured above: ESCS managing director Shaun McDonald and son Lee receive the High Growth Exporter of the Year award from Alison Barto of category sponsor HSBC Business Banking at the PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards.