Ewart Cox

A Cornish company based on the Roseland Peninsula is gaining plaudits across the world for its efforts to reduce emissions wherever fluids and gases are stored.

Each year, in industries as diverse as biogas, chemicals, food & beverage, oil & gas and pharmaceuticals, the business of storing and transporting all kinds of fluids and gases can lead to huge emissions of damaging volatile organic compounds.

Not only has Assentech had great success supplying premium-quality devices which allow tanks to breathe without leaks, but MD Ewart Cox himself has found his expertise increasingly in demand to help rewrite and tighten international guidelines.

As a result of his work with the American Petroleum Institute (API), Cox was asked to present to its annual conference. Given the sheer volume of invisible greenhouse gases escaping from tanks, and the fact that all major oil companies are declaring net zero emissions by 2050, API also asked him to lead a working group to write a new ‘Gold Standard’.

This feat mirrors work done by Cox on an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guideline regulated from Switzerland.

In spite of the pandemic and with help from Unlocking Potential’s Future Focus programme, Assentech has managed to bring forward strategic plans for 2021 by six months, having secured a bulk order for world’s first portable automatic test bench, which enables users to check that their tank storage system is breathable and not leaking.

Cox said: “I was 30 years in this business before starting up Assentech out of sheer frustration. I know how quickly and by how much this industry needs to drive down emissions. And I’m no less aware of how slow the industry can be to change and how averse to innovation it can be.

“It’s amazing to reflect on the strides we’ve made in a relatively short time, but all it does is make us even more determined to carry on, to do more, so that our small Cornish business keeps making a significant difference to a global problem.”