FEATURES

China’s central role in AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ growth strategy

The 10th anniversary of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ Ningbo site marks another milestone in the company’s growth journey in China. Since the company started investing in production in China in the early 1990s, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has grown to employ 1300 people and operate manufacturing facilities spanning all five of its business units at eight locations across the country.

“The company's footprint in China is one of the most modern that we have in any part of the world,” explained Jack Li, Regional Sales Director Polymer Chemistry. “We are able to easily service customers in a wide range of industries around the globe. Combined with our focus on safety, innovation, and sustainability, we are well positioned to continue our growth journey and to help China take new steps to become a more sustainable society.”

He added, “I believe that much of our success has to do with the fact that most of our 1300 managers and employees are Chinese, from graduates and students to experienced hires. Our employees here are entrepreneurial and curious, put a lot of emphasis on education, and have a strong drive to move China forward to the next level of success. We will continue to tap into local talent to strengthen our business as well as our connections to the region.”

The company’s investments in China in recent years include:

  • In 2016, two new facilities at the Ningbo site came on line, representing a combined investment of €80 million. One is an alkoxylation facility, which provides surfactants for the agrochemical, cleaning, viscose, and animal feed industries, while the other is the world’s largest unit for making dicumyl peroxide (DCP), which is used to process a variety of polymers which need exceptional durability, such as high-voltage cable insulation.
  • In 2017, we expanded our plant in Boxing. This €4.8 million project significantly increased Surface Chemistry’s regional product portfolio and provided a stronger position to serve customers in sectors including cleaning, agrochemical, personal care, mining, fuel and lubes, asphalt, and the oil industry.
  • A major expansion is underway at the DCP facility in Ningbo, which will increase annual production capacity to 38,000 tons by 2019. The continued development demonstrates our commitment to retaining a leadership position in the organic peroxides industry.
  • We are also investing €90 million to build a new organic peroxides plant in Tianjin. Replacing an existing plant nearby, the new state-of-the-art facility offers more capacity and underscores our long-term commitment to the plastics industry in China.

“China has been and continues to be a key high-growth market for our company,” explained Egbert Henstra, Member of the Executive Committee responsible for the China region. “Our production sites and our continued investments in the country will play a pivotal role in helping AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals achieve its global strategy and growth targets.”

Li added, “We are confident of future growth based on the long-term economic development of China. Locally and globally we still see growing demand in end-user segments relevant to our business, like industrial, consumer goods, buildings, infrastructure, and transportation, and the shift towards urbanization and green buildings should drive further growth.”

He concluded, “As a global leader in our industry, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals will share our insights, know-how, and expertise to keep growing with our customers and support the country’s ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy. This will lead to greater customer satisfaction and a more sustainable chemicals industry in the region.”