A family-run Middlesbrough firm has won “good news” praise from Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen after completing its biggest ever order of “life-saving” machines amid the coronavirus crisis.

Middlesbrough-based ESCS is set to deliver the first four of eight specialised fire protection machines as part of a total order worth £750,000.

The machines will be delivered to a facility at Haverton Hill, where they will be used to spray a protective material onto steel before being transported to the Irish Republic for a large factory.

The firm’s self-built ES430 is a passive fire protection (PFP) machine that sprays thick coatings of intumescent epoxy materials to protect steel structures from fire and explosions on facilities such as refineries, chemical plants and oil rigs.

Having delivered four of the machines, ESCS staff are now working on a further four for delivery within the next four weeks. Along with the machines, ESCS is also supplying 20-foot containers where epoxy materials are pre-heated prior to application.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This family-run company is producing incredibly worthwhile, life-saving products and is showing just how entrepreneurs, job creators and innovators across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are doing business on a global stage.

“While we’re doing all we can to help those brilliant businesses that find themselves struggling in these unprecedented times, it’s heartening to hear some good from one of our amazing businesses.”

Managing director Shaun McDonald said: “We couldn’t be prouder to be building these machines right here on Teesside because the material they spray onto steel and pipework saves lives in the event of a fire.

“This order represents our biggest ever single order and has allowed us to create jobs for four additional fitters.

“Including parts of our suppliers, every nut and bolt was made right here on Teesside.”

“Our small team of 11 is carefully following Public Health guidelines and strict safe distancing practices whilst completing the job.”

“I can’t praise our staff highly enough for their professionalism in working to a tight deadline in such testing circumstances.”

Winners of the Export Award at the 2018 North East Business Awards, the ESCS team includes Shaun’s wife, their two sons, niece and nephew.

Export sales account for more than 80% of ESCS sales with clients in Azerbaijan, Singapore, Bhutan, Dubai, Brazil, the United States, Kuwait, China, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Europe.