A GROWING coatings machine firm is maintaining its ascent after securing a number of international deals.

Ecco Finishing Supplies, in Middlesbrough, has won work in Angola and Azerbaijan, is supporting the Kuwaiti Navy, and has plans to target China.

The company supplies passive fire protection machines (PFP) to the offshore energy industry, which increase structures’ heat resistance, and blast cleaning equipment to prepare surfaces for painting.

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Its new contracts are expected to lift turnover from £4.5m to more than £5m.

Keith Miller, managing director, said the Angola deal, which includes blast and painting equipment, could rise to £200,000, with a £400,000 agreement to send plate blasting supplies to Azerbaijan to work on thick blocks of steel.

The firm, which sponsors the Redcar Bears speedway team, is also supplying spray pumps to the Kuwait to help refurbish navy vessels.

Mr Miller, who founded the company his bedroom with a £40 typewriter, said it was benefiting from rising demand.

He said: “There is real business in the industry.

“We never felt the recession and there are now more opportunities out there for us.

“The Angolan job was a great bonus because it came right out of the blue in one phone call on an afternoon.

“We have been working on a developing a catalogue for our products and it came on the back of that.

“Our hire business is sending equipment to Las Palmas and we are also working on a distributor deal in Aberdeen.”

Mr Miller said the company, which employs 16 workers and has also supplied equipment to Australia, was targeting new work in China, the Philippines and Thailand as it looks to capitalise on its success.

He added: “We’ve quoted for 17 PFPs for a major job in China in the oil and gas industry for work in an area covering 1.3 million square metres, and the Philippines and Thailand are on the horizon too.

“We’ve also been working on our products to make them easier to use and more reliable, and the difference is massive.”

The company previously won a £500,000 deal to send spray machines to Oman-based Tech International to increase heat resistance in steel structures on oil and gas refineries and petrochemical plants.

It also won a £100,000 contract to supply a specialist machine and an engineer to Sakhalin Island, off Russia's eastern coast, to apply fireproof material to an oil refinery, and it has provided equipment to elite car maker Bentley for unique paint designs on luxurious models for Middle-Eastern millionaires.