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Defensive Strength Secures AkzoNobel’s Place in Soccer Showpiece

Sports fans might well get a kick out of soccer’s forthcoming Euro 2008 championships, but AkzoNobel has already qualified for the next World Cup.

With just two years to go until South Africa stages the showpiece event, work on the ten main stadiums is well underway, and AkzoNobel’s Marine & Protective Coatings business is already part of the line-up, thanks to its outstanding defensive qualities.

Around 750,000 liters of the company’s International Paint products have been used to provide a protective coating for more than 30,000 tons of steel in three brand new venues. International has also supplied coatings for five existing facilities which are being extended, including the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg – which will host the final on July 11, 2010.

“This is a huge project,” explains Terry Gilhooley, Protective Coatings Manager with responsibility for Germany, where some of the steel is being fabricated and coated. “It’s also great proof of the quality of our products and our ability to offer truly global solutions in conjunction with our South African distributor, Plascon Paint.”

He adds that a factor crucial in many sports has been vital. “Teamwork has been the key to our success, with interaction taking place between our European, American, South African and Middle Eastern operations. We’ve supplied primer, undercoat and topcoat, which will protect approximately 600,000 square meters of steel in the new stadiums against corrosion and other damaging environmental influences for at least the next 30 years.”

The three new venues being coated by AkzoNobel are in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, and it’s the Durban stadium which grabs the architectural limelight. Its roof support is a 100-meter high, 350-meter wide dual steel arch made up of 56 individual sections – all of which are protected with International Paint products.

“The sections weigh up to 115 tons each and are actually being fabricated in Hanover and Johannesburg and will be transported to Durban by ship and road respectively, before being assembled on site,” continues Gilhooley.

AkzoNobel is certainly world class when it comes to coating major sporting venues.

Düsseldorf’s Rhein Stadium and several English Premier League soccer stadiums have also used complete coating systems supplied by International Paints. Other sporting venues to have used the company’s coating systems include the main Olympic facilities in Sydney, Greece and Beijing and Wembley Stadium in England.

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