“The UK has the right skills base, infrastructure and supply chains to grow their business. Their decision is a vote of confidence in the Northern Powerhouse as a destination for foreign investment."
AkzoNobel is harnessing the power of bio-based sustainability at its latest paint production facility, using a range of eco-friendly processes to boost capacity and lower emissions.
Billed by AkzoNobel as the most advanced factory of its kind, the £100m plant uses biomass boilers and photovoltaic cells, along with state-of-the-art systems that save water waste and energy, to produce the paint.
When it enters production, AkzoNobel's 100,000sq. mt. Ashington plant in England will emit an estimated 50% less carbon for each litre of paint than was previously achievable .
Welcoming the opening of the facility, the UK secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox, said the paint factory was an important boost to the local economy. “The UK has the right skills base, infrastructure and supply chains to grow their business. Their decision is a vote of confidence in the Northern Powerhouse as a destination for foreign investment,” said Fox.
AkzoNobel’s chief executive office, Thierry Vanlancker, called the new site an important milestone for the company and said that stocks for one of its most well-known UK paint brands, Dulux, would be made there. It will also be the primary source for production of other brands under AkzoNobel’s umbrella, including Cuprinol, Polycell, Hammerite and Armstead.
“We continue to invest in highly innovative and sustainable production facilities to maintain and grow our leadership position, ensuring the best products for our customers in the UK and around the world,” said Vanlancker. He added that the Ashington plant would help the company to lead the paints and coatings industry, “both in terms of the strongest brands and the most advanced technology”.
Owing to the size of the plant and its advanced equipment, the factory is capable of doubling AkzoNobel’s current UK production levels to 200 million litres a year, which can cover roughly 100,000 sq. mt.
In related news, the building of the AkzoNobel production plant comes at a time of predicted good fortune for bio-based versions of paints and solvents. The market for the plant-based products was valued at around $6bn last year is expected to climb to just shy of $10m by 2022, according to a report published by Zion Market Research. In 2016, the paints and coatings dominated the bio solvents market and accounted for around 40% of the market share, said the same report.
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