Conrad Keijzer, Executive Committee member for Performance Coatings, AkzoNobel speaks to OER about the company’s future plans.
Can you give us a brief about AkzoNobel and its global operation?
AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we are consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability. With operations in more than 80 countries, our 50,000 people around the world are committed to delivering leading products and technologies to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing world.
What are the company’s plans and strategies for Oman?
Oman is one of our strategic growth countries in the ME region. The purpose of the JV is to increase our presence, expand our footprint in Oman and bring our leading technologies for performance coatings and decorative paints under one roof to serve the local demand from the construction, transportation and oil and gas sector. Through the JV, we see opportunities to bring in new innovative deco product lines, as well as performance coatings products. We also intend to invest in additional capacity in the factory as we plan to grow our business.
According to you, how is the market shaping up in Oman and what are your expectations from here?
Combining the existing network of Sadolin Paints with our leading technologies and marketing know-how, we are convinced that we will be able to establish a strong local presence in Oman and to double the size of the business. We will introduce our new product lines such as fire protective and powder coatings, as well as coatings for the marine and yacht sector, for which we anticipate a growing local demand.
How do you distinguish your decorative paints and coatings products from the existing products in the market?
We are now a market leader for fire protective coatings in the ME. Our market leading Chartek and Interchar coatings for example have been applied at the airports of Sohar and Muscat in Oman. These products are quite distinct to our decorative paints such as Oman’s market leader 88 plus from Sadolin.
How strong is your presence in the Middle East region and what is your market share in the region? Please explain about your future plans for the region?
Besides being the market leader for fire protective coatings in the ME, AkzoNobel has also been the main paint and fire protection supplier to both the Jeddah airport and the Medina airport in Saudi Arabia. We have recently established a foothold in Qatar by forming a new company that has the rights to sell AkzoNobel’s performance coatings and decorative paints across Qatar. We are already involved in infrastructure projects and have a track record of supporting LNG investments in Qatar, including the protection of onshore processing trains and marine LNG vessels. We have also supplied coatings products for a number of landmark projects in Qatar, including the Museum of Islamic Art and buildings in Doha’s Barwa financial district. AkzoNobel has also recently opened a regional head office in Dubai and the building of a Powder Coatings plant is on the anvil. Overall, we employ more than 1,000 staff in the region including Egypt and Pakistan and foresee robust ongoing growth in the future.