Arnhem, March 14, 2001 – Akzo Nobel announced today that it will invest EUR 4 million to expand tin-free resin production at its Felling facility in the UK. The Felling site, a major location within Akzo Nobel's Marine and Protective Coatings business unit, produces Marine, Yacht and Protective Coatings, under the International brandname, for European, African and Middle Eastern markets.
This investment will provide additional production capacity for the manufacture of patented copper acrylate polymers used in Intersmooth Ecoloflex SPC products – the market leading tributyltin (TBT) free, self-polishing copolymer (SPC) antifouling coatings. These antifoulings provide equivalent performance levels to TBT containing products, but have a reduced impact on the environment. It is expected that the International Maritime Organization will prohibit the application of TBT antifoulings from 2003, and ban their presence on ships hulls by 2008.
“Proprietary resins are a key success factor in any coatings technology”, said Rudy van der Meer, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Coatings. “Our investment in this area underlines our dedication to stay ahead of our competitors with state-of-the-art technology.”
“We are number one in Marine Coatings world wide” said Leif Darner, General Manager of the Business Unit, Marine and Protective Coatings. “The investment in copper acrylate resin production for Intersmooth Ecoloflex SPC at Felling is a key part of our strategy to further strengthen our leading position in this global market. Intersmooth Ecoloflex SPC is an integral part of our range of non-TBT antifouling coatings providing performance and value for our customers”.
Start up of the new production facility is planned for early 2002.
Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated sales for 2000 totaled EUR 14 billion (USD 13 billion, GBP 8.5 billion). The Company currently employs 68,400 people in 75 countries. Financial results for the first quarter 2001 will be announced on April 25, 2001.