ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel announced plans to build a powder-coatings manufacturing plant in Vietnam in a project with a joint-venture partner, Chang Cheng Securities. The facility, to be located in the Vietnamese capital Ho Chi Minh City, would be the first powder-coatings production plant in Vietnam and will manufacture the full range of Akzo Nobel's Interpon powder coatings, the company said.

Akzo Nobel currently operates three powder-coatings facilities in China and Taiwan and says it is the powder-coatings market leader in the region.

"This is an important move into what is one of the growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region," said Rudy van der Meer, member of the Akzo Nobel board of management responsible for coatings. Akzo Nobel also opened a new powder-coatings product plant in Turkey earlier this year.

Bill McPherson, general manager of Akzo Nobel's recently launched Powder Coatings business unit, said Akzo Nobel has been exporting to Vietnam for several years from the company's other powder-coatings plants in the region. "By the end of last year, our sales had grown to a level where local manufacturing had become economically viable, and we felt we should further boost service levels to our customers by manufacturing locally," he said.