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Coatings firm put finishing touches to American deal.

AN award-winning Teesside business is close to clinching its first ever export deal to the USA after hosting visitors from Texan oil and gas giants.

Ecco Finishing Supplies, the North East Export Team of the Year, is in talks to supply passive fire protection machines to the Texan contractors, as well as customers in Canada, Australia and Russia.

Ecco managing director Keith Miller hosted 10 US visitors from three different companies on behalf of world-leading protective coatings manufacturer Jotun Paints.

The Middlesbrough firm's self-built protective fire protection (PFP) machines were utilised in a demonstration of Jotun's latest protective paint products, utilised extensively in the oil, gas, petrochemical and marine industries.

During the full-day visit, the team of Texan contractors were not only impressed with the products supplied by Flixborough-based Jotun but by Ecco's high-tech machines.

Mr Miller said: "Having recently introduced a unique new protective coating designed to make steelwork fire-resistant in the event of a major blaze, Jotun were keen to demonstrate the product to their US visitors.

"We were delighted to host the group and even more delighted when it became clear that the contractors were hugely impressed with our PFP machines as well as Jotun's own excellent products.

"Talks immediately began regarding what would be our first ever orders from the States. Although we've done quite a bit of business in Canada, we haven't previously exported to the USA."

Since developing the PFP EF430 at their headquarters close to Newport Bridge, Ecco have already received orders from the Middle East, Canada and the USA.

"The past year has seen our export business really take off," said Mr Miller. "As well as our PFP machines, there has been great demand for our blasting and painting equipment, so these are hugely exciting times for us."

Sponsors of Redcar Bears speedway team, Middlesbrough Cricket Club and Middlesbrough Homeless Football Club, Ecco supply their surface preparation, finishing and blasting products to customers around the world including Africa, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Europe.

Blue-chip clients include Nissan in Sunderland, Bentley, Range Rover and Caterpillar, while Ecco supplied equipment that was employed in the repainting of Tower Bridge ahead of the London Olympics and the Forth Rail Bridge.

CAPTION(S):

Keith Miller of Ecco Finishing Supplies, centre and right inset, demonstrates the company's PFP machines to Texan contractors during the visit from Jotun Paints
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 15, 2013
Words:390
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