PCI Magazine interviewed Roger Powell, marketing director, Architectural Coatings, Asia Pacific Region, Rohm and Haas Company, on the state of the coatings industry in China, future expectations for that market, and what Rohm and Haas sees as its global strategy in the region as well as in other global markets.
PCI: Other than China, where else is Rohm and Haas focusing its efforts in the global community, such as the former Eastern bloc countries like Poland and Russia, as well as India?
PCI: Are both the liquid and powder markets showing the same growth rates in China? If one market is dominant, why is that? Are liquid coatings primarily waterborne or solvent-based?
Powder is growing but is patchy depending on the segment and type of resin required.
PCI: In what sectors of the industry do you see the greatest growth in China now? What do you predict the situation to be five years from now? What are the biggest growth areas in the Industrial sector?
Industrial will continue to be mainly solvent-based and is expected to grow at 11%+ for the foreseeable future. There is a movement to water-based in certain key sectors, but this will be slow as not all performance demands are currently met. Much will depend on the governmental position on environmental emissions as to the speed of conversion.
PCI: Is R&D being handled in the United States? Where else?
PCI: Is the quality-control effort in China’s coatings manufacturing improving? What about at the raw material plants?
PCI: Are acrylic or acrylic hybrids the predominant resin technology used in China today? What other technologies seem to dominate?
In solvent-based coatings, we see significant use of alkyds, epoxy and polyurethane.
PCI: What are the environmental regulations for coatings in China compared to Europe and the United States?
PCI: Do the Chinese have the skilled labor pool required for plant-manufacturing operations?
The area where we see skills still lacking is in application. To address this, the authorities are currently establishing training programs to increase skills. This is being done at a provincial level. Rohm and Haas through its Paint Quality Institute program is assisting by providing information on how to obtain a quality paint job.
PCI: Are most of the coatings being produced for internal use or for export of either coatings or coated products (like coil)?
PCI: Has the cost of raw materials increased in this part of the world as it has in the United States? If so, what is the impact?
PCI: Who are your resin competitors in China? Is the profile similar to that in the United States?
PCI: How many plants do you currently have in China, and what are your long-term goals for further growth?
Rohm and Haas is continuing to evaluate further options for plant placement in the region since servicing the coatings industry is a core activity of the organization.
PCI: Are there any problems with energy shortages, fuel, etc. or with the infrastructure?
For more information on Rohm and Haas Co. products, including polymers, resins and additives for architectural and industrial coatings, visit www.rohmhaas.com/coatings.