Axalta Coating Systems, formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, plans to invest more than $50 million to construct a new facility to manufacture and supply up to 25,000 metric tons of paint to automobile manufacturers that are expanding into south and central China, a Business Wire news release reports.
The plant will be dedicated to production of Axalta Coating Systems' waterborne coatings that meet both manufacturer and regulatory environmental standards. Pending final government approvals, construction of the new facility is expected to break ground in the second half of 2013 with production beginning the first quarter of 2015.
"Our Board's decision -- reached only 100 days after becoming an independent company -- to invest and grow with our customers reflects our long term commitment to the auto industry in China and around the world," said Charles Shaver, chairman and CEO of Axalta Coating Systems. "That's what Axalta customer focus is all about. Proximity enables us to respond immediately to our customers' needs."
The new facility will be close to customers in the Shanghai area and have easy access to major transportation routes reaching into western and southern areas of the country. This additional facility will complement the manufacturing capacity of Axalta's flagship OEM coatings manufacturing plant in Changchun that is already accelerating production to meet extraordinary growth in automotive production in China.
According to K. Peter Hurd, Axalta's vice president of operations, the waterborne coatings that will be produced at the new facility will be used in two of the consolidated manufacturing processes that Axalta has developed for automobile manufacturers to improve productivity and save energy.
The specially formulated primer of Axalta's 3-Wet water-based system is designed to replace the need for a full oven bake step required after the application of traditional primers, thereby enabling manufacturers to replace larger ovens that are expensive to build and costly to operate. Products manufactured at the new facility will also be used with Axalta's EcoConcept production system, a proprietary technology that combines the primer and basecoat, enabling manufacturers to replace multiple bake steps with only one.