The new industrial finishes facility, which will produce coil and specialty plastic coatings, is being built in Hoskote near Bangalore and is the latest strategic step in a measured approach to expanding in a region with clear growth potential.
"We are convinced that India will develop into one of the world's economic powerhouses and it ranks very highly on our list of priority countries for growth and investment," said AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers. "We are already well represented in India, but as a leading global producer of coatings and specialty chemicals we are committed to making a significant contribution to India's continued development."
Wijers, who yesterday took part in the launch of the two-week Amsterdam India Festival—an event sponsored by AkzoNobel—added that the company has targeted a substantial increase of its turnover in India, which currently totals around €200 million.
The new industrial finishes plant is being built on an existing AkzoNobel site, which manufactures marine and protective coatings and powder coatings, as well as coil coatings. The latest addition will expand capacity for coil coatings produced primarily for the high performance steel and aluminum construction markets in India and neighboring countries. Increasing demand in India for lifestyle goods such as mobile phones and the ability to better serve global customers located in the region has driven the need to expand the business' specialty plastics activities.
"We have achieved steady growth in these markets and now require a capacity expansion which was not feasible within our current production unit," explained Binoy Chakraborty, general manager of AkzoNobel's industrial finishes business in India. He added that construction on the first phase of the project is expected to be completed in early 2010.
AkzoNobel currently employs around 1,500 people in India and operates six production facilities, two research laboratories and around a dozen sales locations, representing activities from across all coatings and specialty chemicals businesses.