The opening ceremony was attended by H.R.H. Crown Prince of Norway, Haakon, who officially opened the factory. The Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Monica Mæland and local representatives from the State of Rio de Janeiro and the City of Itaborai were also present.
The factory is built on a 130,000-square-meter plot of land, with a total investment of more than 100 million Brazilian Reais.
According to Jotun Brazil’s managing director, Ferran Bueno, the new factory will support the company’s ambitions to become one of the market leaders within Marine and Protective coatings in Brazil. “Despite today’s troubled economy, Brazil represents a significant growth opportunity for Jotun and a gateway to the region,” he said. “Jotun is a relatively small player in some areas, but we have a long-term perspective and expect our ability to produce locally will help us double our market share in selected industrial segments.”
Jotun began supplying marine coatings to ships trading in the region in 1998, and in 2008 began to offer protective coatings to offshore installations, renewable energy projects and a broad range of industrial and civic infrastructure projects. Today, the company offers a broad range of advanced coatings designed to meet the challenges of users. “From premium marine coatings that help owners reduce fuel costs and corresponding emissions to our innovative mesh-free passive fire protection system for offshore installations, Jotun products offer Brazilian companies safe, efficient and cost-effective solutions for the long-term protection of property,” Bueno says.
About 100 people are employed at the new factory, which is strategically located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and only 190 kilometers from the oil capital, Macaé. Bueno notes that seven out of ten employees have been recruited locally and most live within 35 kilometers of the factory. “Consistent with Jotun’s values, we not only provide local personnel career opportunities and a safe workplace, but will play an active role in the local community,” he says. “For example, Jotun already sponsors the social project “Karanba”, run by a former Norwegian football player. This program helps to improve the lives of disadvantaged children by providing a structure to help them through school and prepare them for the future.”
Bueno acknowledges that it may take time for Jotun to grow the business in Brazil, but is confident that the new factory will help Jotun strengthen its brand – not only in Brazil, but in South America. “This factory represents a genuine milestone in Jotun’s development, and another important step in our remarkable global growth story,” he says.