ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel formally opened a new non-stick coatings facility in São Paulo, Brazil, a facility that will produce coatings for the Brazilian cookware industry and a range of other specialized industrial applications such as automotive pistons and copier rolls.

The new plant is located at the company's Decorative Coatings site in the Raposo Tavares district of São Paulo.

The company also announced a further expansion in capacity of its powder-coatings production facility in Izmir, Turkey, a move the company said reflects demand growth in markets in Turkey and adjacent regions. The expansion, which includes two new production lines, brings total capacity at the site to more than 7,000 metric tons per year, the company said.

The opening of the non-stick coatings facility in Brazil follows the 2003 startup of a non-stick coatings plant in China, and reflects the company's "sustained efforts to grow our global position for non-stick coatings," said Rudy van der Meer, the member of the Akzo Nobel Board of Management responsible for Coatings.

Van der Meer said the new plants in China and Brazil are part of a plan to expand the non-stick coatings business in "growth areas" and bring production closer to international customers. He said some of those customers have outsourced production to Brazil in recent years.

Bill McPherson, general manager of Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings, which includes the company's Non-Stick Coatings business, said Brazil is the third largest market for non-stick coatings for cookware, bakeware and electrical appliances. Akzo Nobel said it is the world's second-largest manufacturer of non-stick coatings, with production sites in North America, Italy, India and China.

Akzo Nobel's powder-coatings production site in Turkey supplies customers in Turkey, the Black Sea area, the Caucasus region, Kazakhstan and Iran. The production increase at the Izmir plant is the second for the site in the past two years.

Akzo Nobel in 1999 entered the Turkish powder-coatings market with exports from the company's operations in Italy. Sales have quadrupled since then, McPherson said, adding that growth prospects for Turkey are promising due to the country's position as a producer of appliances for domestic and export markets.