ARNHEM, the Netherlands - Akzo Nobel’s Powder Coatings business has officially opened its first production plant in Russia. The facility is situated in the industrial belt surrounding Moscow at Orekhovo-Zuevo. The €13 million investment places the company at the heart of the Central and Eastern European market for industrial coatings, of which Russia has a 46% share.

Powder Coatings has been very active in Central and Eastern Europe during the last few years, an area that has a GDP equal to that of China. In addition to expanding its site at Opava in the Czech Republic, the business has also inaugurated distribution warehouses in Poland and Hungary.

Opening a production facility in Russia, however, is perhaps the most significant development, given that in 2006, 80% of the powder coatings used in the country was imported.

Two production lines have been installed and are operating at the new facility; another two are scheduled to be up and running by mid-2008. Powder Coatings now operates 28 plants worldwide.