ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel Coatings announced plans to invest 12 million euros, or approximately $10.6 million U.S., in its powder-coatings production facility at Cernobbio, Italy. Akzo Nobel said the expansion program will double the production capacity at the site, and will make the facility the world's largest single production unit for thermosetting powder coatings.

"This investment is a significant step and will further strengthen our position as global market leader in powder coatings," said Rudy van der Meer, the member of the Akzo Nobel Board of Management responsible for coatings. He noted that Italy is the largest powder coatings-producing country in Europe and is the second-largest in the world, after the United States.

Bill McPherson, general manager of Akzo Nobel's Powder Coatings business unit, said the company also has doubled the production capacity at its powder-coatings production facility at Argenta, Italy, over the past two years. Key markets include the architectural-metal, appliance and metal-furniture segments, the company said. Akzo Nobel manufactures thermosetting powder coatings at more than 20 facilities around the world.