Paint manufacturers to add internal resin capacity

AkzoNobel Paints plans to increase its own resin supplies by expanding capacity within its network of plants. The company joins other coating manufacturers who plan to reintegrate the production of raw materials after a series of shortages in 2021.

Although AkzoNobel does not disclose the amount of investment it plans, it expects the move to increase profits by $ 17-23 million annually by 2023. The company also says moving more resin production inside the plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which by 2030 it aims to halve.

In September, Sherwin-Williams acquired the resin production capacity when it acquired the water-based resin manufacturer Specialty Polymers, which was a contract manufacturer for Sherwin-Williams. PPG Industries CEO Michael McGarry similarly said in January that the company was diversifying its base of raw material suppliers as well as increasing its own capacity. “In 2022 and 2023, we will have more domestic resins than today,” he said.

Raw materials for paint manufacturers have been strained in recent months, in part because extreme weather conditions in 2021 have canceled petrochemical production on the Gulf Coast. Both PPG and Sherwin-Williams, the largest paint manufacturers in the U.S., cited a shortage of raw materials and labor as a stumbling block, reporting financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021.

“Our full year and fourth quarter have been marked by supply chain disruptions across the industry, unprecedented cost inflation and ongoing pandemic problems,” wrote Sherwin-Williams CEO John G. Morikis.

The largest category of resins for coatings are aqueous suspensions of various polymers that provide bulk and surface adhesion. Because of the high water content, coating resins are typically produced locally, says Dan Murad, CEO of consulting firm ChemQuest. By purchasing monomers that are delivered more economically, AkzoNobel and other firms are making their supply chains more flexible and sustainable. The trade-off, Murad says, is that resin production could distract from their core business of making finished coatings.

AkzoNobel and its analogue companies are returning to their own resin production, Murad says, although they have always had some internal capacity. In addition to the drama in 2021, he said, the consolidation of resin supplies has slowed innovation, and coating manufacturers see an opportunity for their own chemists to come up with improved resins that they can use exclusively. Paint manufacturers to add internal resin capacity

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