SW OCTOBER 2015 - Page 16

INDUSTRY NEWS AkzoNobel unveils plans to invest in UK pilot plant AkzoNobel is to invest more than €1.3 million to build a pilot plant for coating resins at its Performance Coatings site located in Felling, Tyne & Wear. The state-of-the-art facility - which will create three new jobs and safe-guard a further 28 positions at the site - will provide resin samples for product testing and the possibility to scale up to commercial manufacture. Start-up is expected in the first quarter of 2016. “In-house resin development is a key part of our coatings R&D effort,” explained Adam Bell, Head of the Scale-Up Team for the pilot plant. “This facility will improve our delivery of large-scale resin for testing, while streamlining the scale-up process from the laboratory through to factory manufacturing.” Added Gareth Crapper, Manager of Performance Coatings’ Technology Centre at Felling: “Coatings technology and product innovation is at the core of our business strategy, and this new facility will play an important part in that. It also underlines our commitment to the Felling site, which has received more than €30 million of investment during the past five years.” The new facility was part-funded by the UK government’s Let’s Grow Regional Growth Fund. It represents the latest addition to the Felling location, which is the Performance Coatings business’ largest R&D site worldwide, employing around 300 scientists. www.akzonobel.com INDUSTRY INSIGHT – BCF BCF publishes survey to determine DIY use of antifouling paints The British Coatings Federation (BCF) Marine Coatings Group have addressed concerns that authorities may decide to restrict the application and use of antifouling (AF) paints to strictly professional applicators and organisations, by launching a survey to determine DIY use of AF paints in the UK. The survey looks to raise awareness amongst the boat-owning community regarding this issue, determine the current practice related to AF paint use by the DIY market, determine the awareness of users to the hazards of AF paint, emphasizing the importance of using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, and to provide an indication as to the impact on AF paint sales, boat maintenance costs and leisure boat ownership, if such a restriction becomes law. Information gathered will form the basis for a report from the BCF, providing an overall picture of the DIY application of AF paints in the UK, which may then be used as a basis for determining what further support activity is required, for example education tools on hazards and the use of PPE, potential need for advocacy to defend the use of AF paints in the DIY or leisure sector. DIY user