Akzo Nobel's powder coatings business has opened its first production plant in Russia on a site which offers capacity for future expansion.
The facility is situated in the industrial belt surrounding Moscow at Orekhovo-Zuevo. The €13 million investment places the company at the heart of the Central and Eastern European market for industrial coatings, of which Russia has a 46% share.
"This plant is part of an ongoing expansion of our activities in key geographic regions," said Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers. "We realized some time ago that local production was necessary in order to supply the service expected by our customers, and to keep up with rapidly growing demand. The beauty of this site is that two-thirds remains free for future development, which opens up further strategic opportunities for all our businesses."
Akzo Nobel's powder coatings business has been very active in Central and Eastern Europe during the last few years, an area which has a GDP equal to that of China, according to the company. As well as recently expanding its site at Opava in the Czech Republic—the first phase of a €5 million refurbishment—the business has also inaugurated a dedicated state-of-the-art distribution warehouse in Poland, while another warehouse has been established in Hungary.
Opening a production facility in Russia, however, is perhaps the most significant development, given that in 2006, 80% of the powder coatings used in the country was imported.
"Many of our multinational customers have been investing in Russia and this plant will be able to produce to the high standards demanded by the automotive, domestic appliance and construction sectors," added powder coatings general manager, Rob Molenaar. "This investment continues our strategic goal of locating production close to our customers and will further consolidate our status as the largest global manufacturer of powder coatings."
Two production lines have been installed and are operating at the new facility, with another two scheduled to be up and running by mid-2008.