AMSTERDAM — As Chinese customers and consumers demand more eco-premium water-based decorative paints, AkzoNobel’s Guangzhou plant aims to deliver. A huge automation upgrade will have it running at full production of exclusively water-based products.

Guangzhou is the last of four decorative paint plants in China to completely switch to water-based products. State-of-the-art technology will increase its water-based paints production capacity from 88 million liters to 140 million annually.

The plant’s upgrades will also bring the company closer to its overall sustainability ambitions, which include 100% water reuse at the most water intensive sites by 2030. Once fully operational, Guangzhou will increase water reuse by 70% and reduce wastewater by 50%. Significant reductions in electricity use and VOC emissions are also expected.

“The renewal of the Guangzhou site is living proof of our ‘People. Planet. Paint.’ approach to sustainability,” says Rinske van Heiningen, the Director of Sustainability at AkzoNobel. “It’s one of our top-10 decorative paint plants globally in terms of production capacity, now shifting fully to zero-solvent-based decorative paints. At the same time, it’s using smart manufacturing technology to enhance both productivity and production safety.”

David Prinselaar, AkzoNobel’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, added, “The new plant is a significant milestone for AkzoNobel in China as we strive to increase our production of eco-premium water-based products. This a prominent sector generating many opportunities for us to provide greener paint and coating solutions.”

The 26 million yuan upgrade is part of continuous improvements in manufacturing technology and supply chain management that AkzoNobel makes to ensure customers and consumers have access to the quality products and services they need.

AkzoNobel has three other decorative paint plants in China – Shanghai, Langfang and Chengdu – that already allow full production of water-based paints.