AkzoNobel broke ground on its new Decorative Paints site in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province, China. The facility is part of an investment in excess of €50 million to build manufacturing facilities for both Powder Coatings and Decorative Paints.
Located in Qionglai Yang’an Industrial Park, the new site – the company's fourth plant for decorative paints in China – occupies an area of 55,000 square meters. The first phase is scheduled to be opened in 2016, with full operations expected by 2017.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner said: "Our investment in this new site is further proof of our ongoing commitment to China, which is one of our most strategically important markets. Establishing this new facility also gives added momentum to our organic growth ambitions, as well as enabling us to continue expanding our manufacturing footprint in Asia."
Added Ruud Joosten, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Decorative Paints: "Further boosting our presence in China will support our growth ambitions and enable us to work more closely with our customers in the region. There is strong demand for our products and we will continue to innovate to meet the increasing needs of the market."
Offering approximatley 100 employment opportunities to the local market, the new site will comply with the company's highest sustainability and HSE&S standards. Due to be equipped with state-of-the-art production facilities, it will manufacture the full range of AkzoNobel’s Decorative Paint offerings and market them in China.
In addition to building the new plant, the company is also donating RMB 1.5 million to help fund the creation of ten "Adream Centers" in Qionglai. These centers are designed to improve the quality of education for children – one of the key focus areas of AkzoNobel’s Human Cities initiative, which was launched in June.
"We attach great importance to being part of the communities where we operate," said LIN Liangqi, president of AkzoNobel China and managing director of the company's Decorative Paints business in China and North Asia. "Contributing to the education of young people in the area will therefore be just as important as enhancing our production capacity with the new site and providing more value for our customers in China."
AkzoNobel 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. Within Sichuan province, the company currently operates a regional office, powder coatings production site and a car refinishes training center, with a new powder coatings production site also under construction.