Dutch paint giant, Akzo Nobel has opened a new coatings production facility in the capital, Nairobi, and says its long-term plan is to expand further and use Kenya as a gateway to the whole of East Africa.
The site, which produces coil coatings primarily focused on the building sector, also includes warehousing for the company's marine, protective and powder coatings. The opening ceremony was attended by H.E. Franz Makken, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya, who talked about the importance of direct foreign investment in helping to boost local economic development
Akzo performance coatings director for sub-Saharan Africa, Baron Schreuder explained: "Akzo Nobel is making a concerted effort to tap into the growing opportunities in Africa and bolster its operations in the region with strategic investments. This is an important first step towards unlocking Africa and expanding our performance coatings presence in the east of the continent."
He added: "Operating in Kenya is an essential part of expanding our footprint in the region. The new facility will enable us to be closer to our customers, helping to reduce lead times while strengthening our ability to serve the market better."
Work on the facility started after the company acquired the industrial coatings business of BASF. Akzo Nobel established a legal entity in Morocco, Kenya and Uganda in 2016 with the express aim of growing its performance coatings business in the African market.
The company already runs operations in Africa for its marine and protective coatings, automotive and specialty coatings, industrial and powder coatings and decorative paints businesses. Manufacturing facilities are located in Egypt, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Morocco and Tunisia.
Products have been supplied for a number of high-profile projects throughout the continent, notably in South Africa, where five stadiums used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup feature Akzo Nobel's high performance coatings.