Work started in 2012, when around €14 million was invested in the facility to add production lines for packaging coatings and epoxy and polyester resins. Now the largest site of its kind in the region, Songjiang will serve growing consumer demand from a number of key markets.
"China remains one of our most important growth markets," explained Conrad Keijzer, member of AkzoNobel's Executive Committee responsible for Performance Coatings. "By expanding capacity at our Songjiang site, we are well positioned to capture the ongoing demand from consumer and construction markets."
Added AB Ghosh, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Industrial Coatings business: "We are very pleased to have started commercial production at the expanded Songjiang site. The extended capabilities and new product lines will not only help us to better serve customers in the country, but will also allow us to supply resins for our own local production of coil and packaging coatings."
The Songjiang facility employs close to 300 people and houses AkzoNobel's largest research and development center in China. The company is also expanding its activities in other parts of the country, with work ongoing at sites for Powder Coatings and Decorative Paints in Chengdu, a combined investment of €50 million in one of the fastest growing regions in China. In addition, a new regional office for western China is being inaugurated in Chengdu this week, which will house employees from several coatings businesses.
AkzoNobel currently employs more than 7,400 people in China, including 500 in research and development. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €1.6 billion, the majority coming from local demand.