The Dutch company AkzoNobel creates 65 jobs in Barcelona with the opening of a planning hub for all Europe

25 Nov 2021

  • The multinational centralizes the planning and management of more than 30 paint production plants and 125 warehouses across Europe in its facilities in Barcelona’s Zona Franca district.
  • With its expansion in Catalonia, AkzoNobel was supported by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the agency for business competitiveness.
  • AkzoNobel, one of the leading manufacturers of paints and coatings, has 1,140 workers in Catalonia.

The Dutch company AkzoNobel, dedicated to the manufacture of paints and coatings, opened a new hub in Barcelona on Wednesday to centralize the planning and management of all the company’s production plants and warehouses across Europe. The implementation of this hub, located at the company's facilities in the Zona Franca, has led to the creation of 65 skilled jobs.

Helping it in its expansion in Catalonia, AkzoNobel was supported by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the agency for the business competitiveness within the Ministry of Business and Employment. According to figures from the agency, there are currently more than 500 companies from the Netherlands located in Catalonia.

The new EMEA Planning Hub, made up largely of engineers, will be working on the management and planning of the company's 30 production plants and 125 warehouses around Europe with the aim of enhancing the capacity of its facilities and optimizing performance. It will focus on AkzoNobel's production of coating for other companies and will complement the company's other hub located in Sassenheim (Netherlands), which focuses on the management of the decorative paint line for the end consumers.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Director General of Industry and CEO of ACCIÓ, Natàlia Mas i Guix, and the Supply Chain Chief Officer of AkzoNobel, Karen-Marie Katholm. During her speech, Natàlia Mas stated that "the opening of this planning center is an example of the type of industrial, productive and high value-added foreign investment project that we want to attract from the Cataln Government”. "This is a project that will contribute to consolidate the chemical sector in Catalonia, the third most important in our economy and the first in terms of exports", she said.

Regarding the attraction of new foreign investment projects, Mas explained that the pandemic has caused “a shaking of the international economic structure and many companies are rethinking the location of their factories. In this situation, Catalonia has to take advantage of all its assets to expand the industrial productive capacity of the whole territory”.

AkzoNobel's Supply Chain Chief Officer, Karen-Marie Katholm, emphasized that “Barcelona has proven to be the right place to attract talent and open this planning center in an environment with many capabilities linked to the supply chain”. Katholm explained that "we have been continuously investing here for the last five years" and that "with the new planning hub we bring our digital and logistical experience to Barcelona".

Growth in Catalonia

Commercially present in over 150 countries, AkzoNobel currently has 1,140 employees in Catalonia, 560 of whom are located in the Zona Franca facilities, the company’s headquarters in Spain. With this new hub, the multinational consolidates its presence in Catalonia, where it has other lines of business in areas such as powder coatings, decorative paints or those applied in the automotive or aerospace sector, among others. AkzoNobel recently acquired companies such as Titan and Xylazel and expects to close the year 2021 with a production of 98,000 tons in Spain.

The inauguration was also attended by the Dutch Consul, Dirk Kremer; the president of ASEFAPI, Jose Luis Díez; and the director of town planning for the Zona Franca Consortium, Mario Serrano, amongst other representatives.

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