A Maker of high-performance coatings that undercut Chinese rivals for a £2.5m contract is hoping to win similar deals.

E Wood Limited, of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, was awarded a contract to supply protective coating to line 4,200km of pipes carrying natural gas across China.

The company outbid three Chinese competitors, as well as suppliers from Germany and the US, winning the deal on price.

Managing director Chris McDonnell said: "The irony is that everyone thinks China is the epitome of low-cost manufacturing and that no one in the UK could possibly supply anything cheaper. However, we were the lowest of all bids and we would not have put our bid forward if we knew we couldn't supply."

The company secured the deal after China announced plans for a multi-billion pound project to transport natural gas from the Tarim basin, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, across seven provinces to Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta.

"It was a major coup for us at the time and we are still working on the contract now. It is the biggest, single contract we have ever been awarded," said Mr McDonnell.

"The whole project is going on and on and there are other feeder pipelines that are being developed. We are hoping to secure more contracts off the back of this project, which could be worth the same amount again.

"We are sweating over a number of other large contracts in South-East Asia and should know by the end of the year whether we have been successful."

E Wood supplies its gas pipe coating, known as Copon EP 2306HF, to countries around the world. The product is sprayed on pipes to protect them during transport, storage and construction.

It also improves the efficiency of gas travelling through the pipes by about ten per cent.

The company recently announced it had signed a seven-figure contract with Northumbrian Water to supply a coating to reline the utility company's water pipes across the region.

Mr McDonnell said the contract would take the company's turnover to about £25m this year.