SW OCTOBER 2015 - Page 28

INDUSTRY NEWS AkzoNobel helps protect Barcelona’s iconic La Sagrada Familia Basilica Barcelona’s iconic Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is to benefit from a key contribution by AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business. Due to be completed in 2026, the company’s ‘Interpon’ products will be applied to several areas of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, where construction first began in 1882. “As a company that dates back nearly 400 years, we are passionate about the need to preserve the heritage of our cities,” said John Wolff, Managing Director of AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business. “We are therefore honoured to be involved in the development of such an important building.” Designed by Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia attracts around three million visitors a year. The company's Interpon products will be used to protect several parts of the building, including the enclosures and the balconies of the high iconic towers. “Our involvement in this prestigious project reflects the company’s desire to protect urban heritage and make cities around the world more exciting, vibrant places to live,” said Jose Luis Camargo, Business Manager of AkzoNobel’s Powder Coatings business in Iberia. The company’s coatings can be found on many famous landmarks around the world, including Tower Bridge and the Shard in London, Burj Al Arab in the UAE, the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, the Shanghai Tower in China, and the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. Investment 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 safeguard 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.” “We understand the importance of striking a balance between old and new by using sustainable technology and product solutions. This knowledge and expertise means we can protect historical buildings while still maintaining their invaluable heritage.” 26 October 2015 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 follow us on twitter @surfaceworldmag