Oxea and AkzoNobel expand in China

Chemical company Oxea’s speciality esters plant in Nanjing, China, is now mechanically complete. After a construction period of slightly more than fifteen months the new plant is currently in the commissioning and start-up phase. It is Oxea’s first production site in Asia and will complement Oxea’s three existing speciality ester plants in Europe and will boost Oxea’s global production capacity for speciality esters by 40%. Specialty esters are used to manufacture a large variety of industrial products for, among others, the automotive, architectural and medical sectors.

"With the start-up of the new plant we will be able to serve our customers in China and the Asia-Pacific region better and will at the same time strengthen Oxea’s leading global market position further,” said Miguel Mantas, Oxea’s Executive Board member and globally responsible for Oxea’s commercial activities. “In view of rising customer demand, it is important to note that here in Nanjing we will have sufficient space and infrastructure to implement further expansions, also for other product lines,” he continued.

The new plant is ideally located at the Nanjing Chemical Industry Park, an important chemical industry base in China. Situated at the Yangtze River, the premises offer an existing base of large chemical companies, excellent infrastructure and access to well-educated human resources, said the company.

Oxea is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, specialty esters, and amines. These products are used for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavorings and fragrances, printing inks and plastics. In 2012, Oxea generated revenue of about EUR 1.5 billion with its over 1,400 employees worldwide. Oxea is owned by Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C.

AkzoNobel invests in China

Meanwhile, AkzoNobel is investing more than EUR6.5 million in its Songjiang site near Shanghai to expand an existing research centre by adding a dedicated facility for the company's Performance Coatings businesses.

Once completed in June 2015, the new development and application centre will add capability and capacity to serve growing demand throughout Asia for solutions targeted at the packaging, coil, speciality finishes and powder coatings markets.

The extension will also double the number of people working in R&D at Songjiang (to around 200) over the next couple of years. When fully operational, the new laboratory will be Performance Coatings' second largest research and development base after Felling in the UK.

"Boosting our R&D capabilities in Asia means we can accelerate the development and formulation of new products tailor-made for the Asian market," said Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel's Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings. "The expanded R&D centre will therefore play a crucial role in supporting our growth ambitions - for China in particular -and will provide us with a major innovation facility located close to our customers in the region."

RD&I Director for Performance Coatings, Klaas Kruithof, added that the new center will also drive efficiency by further consolidating the company's R&D footprint. "Expanding the existing facility will enable ongoing research and development activities for powder coatings to be transferred from Ningbo," he explained. "It will also be capable of accommodating R&D activities for Decorative Paints and the company's Surface Chemistry business."

Strategically positioned in the greater Shanghai area, the Songjiang site was recently expanded to create one of AkzoNobel's biggest resin plants for performance coatings in the world. In total, around 300 people are currently employed at the location.

With operations spread across the country, AkzoNobel employs more than 7,400 people in China, including 500 in R&D. In 2013, the company generated revenues in China of EUR1.6 billion, the majority coming from local demand.


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