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North East Firm Has Europe Lined Up After Receiving Major Accreditation

An innovative tank lining company has achieved a world renowned European certification for their product.

Established in 1996, Washington firm Abfad Limited apply solvent-free coatings to provide their oil and gas clients and other storage tank operators with a method to provide long term protection against corrosion in fuel tanks.

Abfad developed a double-skin liner to enable storage tanks to be monitored for potential leaks – protecting against soil and waterway pollution.

Since 2010, the firm have been striving to receive the accreditation for their product from a German company called TUV Nord, founded in 1869 – a test organisation that validates the safety of products and services.

Abfad’s product is Fuelvac® – a solvent-free, double-skin liner with a class one vacuum leak detection monitoring system which alerts clients to a breach either in the double-skin liner or external tank.

“There has been 15 years of research and development of Fuelvac® with over eight years of testing by TUV Nord,” said Abfad’s Project Director, Chris Haritou.

“To get these certificates is a vindication of our determination to develop a lining system that is one of the most environmentally friendly in the world and will provide 24/7 monitored protection against corrosion and pollution – a major problem in the industry.

“It means we’re able to license our double-skin lining system in Europe because it’s now accredited to the European standard: BS EN 13160-7.

“It’s hugely significant for us as we can now access the European market; European nations can’t allow a company to install this lining system without this certification.”

Abfad launched the product with help from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) – where they were based for 17 years – and accessed support from the BIC’s SME Innovation Programme.

The programme allowed the firm to receive grant funding and guidance to launch their product, which they claim is probably the only solvent-free system of its kind available in the world today.

Abfad’s Operations Director, Alan Fada, added: “From helping us start the business to launching the product – the BIC have been instrumental in helping us grow.

“Completing the TUV Nord accreditation is the icing on the cake after so many years of working towards this certification.”

Abfad launched the product with help from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) – where they were based for 17 years – and accessed support from the BIC’s SME Innovation Programme.

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