AkzoNobel to concentrate paint production in fewer ‘mega’ locations

Paint and coatings company AkzoNobel is planning to concentrate its production in five or six giant factories in Europe, but the Netherlands is unlikely to be among the locations, the Financieele Dagblad said on Tuesday.

Chief executive Ton Büchner told the paper larger production sites are needed to pressure costs.

‘We are thinking of five or six mega factories,’ he said. ‘At the moment we have 20 to 25 small and medium-sized plants in Europe but this is not always efficient.’ A number of less profitable plants will have to close.

The Dutch factories will remain open to top up production elsewhere but this is likely to lead to less investment in the Netherlands, the paper said. AkzoNobel has three paint making factories in the Netherlands.

Britain and Turkey

The company already has three large production centres in Europe, in Poland, Britain and France, where 50 million litres to 150 million litres of paint are produced a year. A fourth plant in northern England is currently being built.

The fifth major plant may be in Turkey or close to Turkey, the company is quoted as saying.

The FD says the shift towards fewer mega factories is part of the company’s strategy outlined earlier this year.

The chemical industry association VNCI said it is disappointed with the news but said: ‘It will be an economic choice, if not connected to the cost of staff. This industry is largely automated.’

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