SHANGHAI – Axalta Coating Systems, Philadelphia, broke ground on a new $50 million eco-friendly waterborne coatings facility in the Jiading district of Shanghai on January 10. At a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the region, Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver officially ushered in a new phase in the company’s commitment to the automobile industry in China.

Expected to begin production in 2015, Axalta’s Shanghai waterborne facility will manufacture and supply up to 25,000 metric tons of the company’s waterborne products. Axalta’s technological leadership in waterborne coatings and expanded capacity for waterborne production will support the long-term growth of an automotive industry that is extending into the southern and western areas of the country. Both Axalta products and the manufacturing facility itself will contribute to the overall sustainable development of China’s automotive industry.

“We invested in this facility to meet growing customer needs for high-performance, water-based coatings solutions. With this new facility, we are expanding our capacity to provide waterborne paints to help China’s auto industry develop sustainably,” Shaver told the audience at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Our technological leadership focuses on developing environmentally friendly coating solutions. Our new facility will also employ the latest-generation production systems to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations.”

Axalta’s waterborne production process utilizes a global waterborne technology system to produce “Lean and Green Automotive Coatings” that automobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can use to significantly reduce VOCs, energy consumption and investment. The “Lean and Green Automotive Coating” process includes primer-less coatings and three-wet coatings, which can achieve full layer performance without having to flash and bake between coats. The increased productivity results in a better bottom line for customers while still producing an excellent finish on vehicles.  Axalta’s waterborne products are environmentally responsible and meet global environmental requirements, such as the EU’s VOC Regulation 2004/42/EC, which Axalta adheres to in China and which can help reduce the overall environmental footprint of China’s auto industry.

Over the past two years, the Chinese government has issued a series of regulations to decrease the environmental burden of the auto industry, including the requirement for all new automotive manufacturer production lines to use eco-friendly waterborne coating products.