At opening ceremonies on August 18, Leif Darner, the AkzoNobel board of management member responsible for performance coatings, noted that AkzoNobel has had a strong presence in China since the late 1980s and continues to expand its operations there. "China is clearly fundamental to our global strategic vision and we are committed to expanding our activities in what is one of the world's most important markets," said Darner. "Last year we outlined our new ambition to achieve revenues in China totaling $2 billion by 2012 and this investment will contribute in reaching this goal."
Marine & protective coatings general manager Bill McPherson also spoke at the opening ceremonies. He pointed to the €23 million investment in the new facility as a clear sign of their commitment to China. "We have developed a business plan that will allow us to increase the capacity in steps over the next ten years and eventually reach an output of 50 million liters."
He also stressed the importance of investing in laboratory facilities. "We see this step as an important one to support the growth of the business and meet customer requirements," he added. Headquartered in London, UK, marine & protective coatings is a global leader for marine paints and antifouling coatings used in shipbuilding and by yacht owners.
Through the International brand name, AkzoNobel manufactures fire retardant products as well as protective coatings for structures such as bridges and the company has supplied a range of protective coatings products for some of the stadia for the Beijing Olympics.