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Teesside’s export experts ESCS are targeting further overseas breakthroughs in Japan, China, India and Kuwait.

Twice winners of prestigious export awards this year, the family-run Middlesbrough firm design and build specialised systems for surface preparation and surface coating as well as corrosion control equipment.

ESCS managing director Shaun McDonald is targeting the Far East after gaining approval from Kansai Paint to use the Japanese company’s passive fire protection material within the Tees firm’s innovative ES430 PFP machine.

And more good news is expected to follow with the successful conclusion of the ES430 by leading protective coatings firm Hempel.

At the same time, ESCS is close to confirming a £300,000 deal to provide a wide range of materials for the building of a coating production plant in Kuwait.

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.

Their extraordinary breakthroughs overseas were recognised by ESCS winning the Export category in the Teesside leg of the North East Business Awards, while they were also crowned High Growth Markets Exporter of the Year ahead of businesses from across the north of England in the Northern Powerhouse Export Awards.

McDonald said: “Both firms are big players within the protective coatings market, so approval from Kansai and Hempel will be another significant step forward for ESCS.

“We’re the only firm in the UK and possibly Europe with Kansai approval, so we’re looking to target further expansion by focusing on Japan and China.”

The ESCS team includes 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, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iraq and Europe.

Big future in the pipeline

Tees firm ESCS is in advanced talks to provide in-situ pipelining services to two of the UK’s major water companies.

A new name in the sector of in-situ pipelining, ESCS Pipe Coating Systems brings together Roger Clark, Steve Jones and Shaun McDonald, three of the industry’s most experienced engineers.

Boasting more than 70 years of experience of in-situ spray application, the three directors are close to agreeing two long-term deals with the unnamed water companies.

The trio have created a one-stop shop for those requiring the application of a protective coating within the internals of static pipes such as those that supply water to domestic and commercial properties.

Once approval is received from the Drinking Water Inspectorate, ESCS Pipe Coating Systems will be the first company to offer both the specialist paint and the state-of-the-art machinery to carry out the specialised jobs for worldwide water authorities, as well as companies owning gas or sewer lines.

While their main business is to rehabilitate pipes for the supply of drinking water to domestic and commercial properties, one of the UK water companies is also keen to work with ESCS on a product the Tees firm has developed for sewage and raw water pipes too.

“The potential market is huge,” said Clark. “We’re already talking to companies in the UK and overseas – including the USA, Iraq and Libya – who are interested in the flexibility we’re offering as a one-stop shop for both material and machine.

“It means that whenever there’s an issue, there’s no debate or confusion – the customer comes back to us to resolve it.

“We’ll work with our clients to help make them successful. There are good products and machinery out there but we’re the first to combine the two, which we’re confident is an all-round better option for the customer.”

The new company is part of Middlesbrough firm ESCS, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of surface preparation and surface coating equipment.


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