Lintec Testing Services, in Darlington, keeps thousands of vessels in operation

The Northern Echo: A Lintec worker burns fuel to carry out an ash sample test A Lintec worker burns fuel to carry out an ash sample test

A NORTH-EAST fuel testing firm, which works with international ship operators, is expanding after its specialist work helped increase turnover.

Lintec Testing Services, in Darlington, keeps thousands of vessels in operation, with turnover rising 40 per cent in the last two years.

The company scrutinises bunker fuel, the stores of fuel bought by shipping line operators, surveys fuel deliveries and carries out lubricant analysis.

It was bought by parent company Intertek in 2005 and works out of Valley Street North, in Darlington, as well as Shanghai, Rotterdam, Singapore and Houston, in the US.

However, bosses say its Darlington laboratory is their global testing hub and have now expanded their offices to meet demand.

The company employs 29 workers and bosses have predicted the creation of a small number of new jobs next year.

Steve Bee, Lintec shipcare services global business director, said it had literally broken down its walls to add workspace after previously extending its laboratory.

He said: “We have grown enormously in the last two years, though Darlington is probably one of the last places you would think about a company like us being based.

“But the North-East is good for us, and hope we have been good for Darlington.

“We want to grow the team and the level of testing and services we provide.

“Our surveyors measure how much fuel is being delivered, so companies are not being short-changed.

“The bunker quantity surveys, while measuring the size, also look at the quality so operators are not losing out financially, and we also look at the quality of the lubrication.

“That's just like when you go to the doctor's and he takes a sample of blood to see what is wrong.

“By looking at the lubrication, we can tell if something is wrong with the engine.”

Its services protect engines and help them adhere to stringent environmental regulations, and Lintec works with about 400 companies and 3,500 vessels.

Workers carry out numerous tests, including checking for ash deposits in burnt fuel, where higher amounts reveal less efficient sources.

Its bunker fuel quantity survey also operates across 250 ports for more than 100 companies.

Lintec has tested fuels for global shipping companies since 1993 and will celebrate its 20th anniversary later this month.

Mr Bee added: “We are a real success story and the relationships we have built up with companies is a key factor in that.

“We make sure we regularly see our clients and that makes a real difference to what we do.

“Things just keep growing and this year will be the best in the company's history.”


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