ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel announced the start of construction of a new architectural-coatings production facility in Vietnam, located in an industrial area near Ho Chi Minh City.

The plant, to be operated by Akzo Nobel's Decorative Coatings International business, is being built in the AMATA Industrial Park in Dong Nai province. The start of production is anticipated by the first quarter of 2005, the company said.

Jan Anderson, general manager of the Decorative Coatings International business, said the plant "will provide a stronger platform for increasing our market share in Vietnam, in line with our targets for the business unit's expansion in the Asia-Pacific region." He said Akzo Nobel's existing production facilities in Ho Chi Minh City are running at full capacity and offer no opportunity for further expansion. The company's Decorative Coatings business began manufacturing architectural paints in Vietnam in 1992.