CW explores the paints market in the Middle East with special focus on trends in Oman.
With foreign investments in the Middle East, construction has reached new heights in terms of large-scale infrastructural and industrial projects. The paints market will also reflect its effect by becoming more dynamic.
GCC has become one of the fastest growing markets for the paints and coatings industry. Its sector earned revenues of $2.059 billion in 2010, with estimates to reach $3.003 billion by 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.
The paints and coatings industry is broadly differentiated as decorative coatings for buildings, marine coatings for ships and yachts, powder coatings used for consumer durables, protective coatings for industrial equipment, auto OEM and refinish coatings for automotives and others such as wood, can and coil coatings. The architectural or decorative paints and coatings, used universally for buildings and residential purposes, are the most sold paints in the GCC region, with 61 per cent share in terms of revenues and 83 per cent in terms of volumes in the overall paints market. The protective coatings segment constitutes 19 per cent in terms of revenues and 7 per cent in terms of volumes. Other segments like marine, auto refinish, powder, wood, can and coil coatings constitute the remainder of the market.
The paints and coatings industry depends largely on the growth of the construction industry in the GCC. With major investments made by governments of member states, this sector is expected to pick up and grow steadily as the demand for paint has been steadily rising.
The major drivers for the construction industry, especially in Oman are the government spending on basic infrastructure, affordable housing, infrastructure for transportation and urban regeneration. Oman too, is spending on expansion and setting up of ports, which include Sohar Airport, Muscat Airport, and Salalah Port.
Oman is developing new products and technologies in the paints market that help meet the growing demands of the fast-changing world.
Today, several manufacturers provide a wide range of products for the Omani market including emulsions for interiors and exteriors, enamels, putty, undercoats, speciality finishes, wood finishes, protective coatings, etc. Architectural coatings, wood finishes and industrial coatings are some innovations.
Further, exporting to lucrative export markets like the UAE and Bahrain, they provide channels for increasing non-traditional exports for Oman. Some of these manufacturers also plan to explore new opportunities and expand their activities within the Sultanate.
Decorate and sustain: Bringing together leadership and innovation, paint companies offer a wide range of decorative paints and furniture lacquers and are involved in producing speciality chemicals. They are now also looking at the area of sustainability. Eco-friendly: Paint companies, with ultra-modern machinery, have divisions that install plant capacities of millions of litres of paint annually. These companies cover a range of decorative and exterior coatings. Many of these manufacturers have been leading the government's green initiatives and have introduced low-VOC, eco-friendly paints into Oman. Many of these companies also offer a one-stop-shop customised painting solution to the clients.
Corrosion-resistant formula: An innovation in the market is corrosion-resistant coating systems. Ganicin, introduced by Axalta Coating Systems, is one such industrial product line that includes zinc-containing urethane and epoxy primers that are designed to be highly corrosion-resistant. The first product released was Ganicin 2.8 ZR-U™, a polyurethane primer produced from organic, solvent-based technology, formulated to provide corrosion protection at 2.8 lbs/gal VOC level. It can be spray applied and also used as a touch-up (spot repair) on organic or inorganic zinc-rich coatings.
Ceramic reflection: Formula One ceramic-based coatings used on exhaust manifolds ensure lower under-bonnet and cockpit temperatures. Advanced ceramic coating is derived from Zircotec´s ThermoHold-based ceramic and is a highly effective, durable yet lightweight method of reducing underbonnet temperatures. It reflects the growing use of such coatings to manage heat, on both, the road and track.
Cooler paints: Cool coatings combine pearlescent pigments with ultra-cool infrared-reflective coatings technology. This combination enables the coatings to help buildings stay cooler and change the colour depending on how light refracts off their surface and the angle from which they are viewed.
Cement and concrete: Companies have also been engaged in the production of abrasives for surface preparation, painting in fabrication, ship yards and projects. They also produce a range of grit materials from copper slag. In addition to abrasives, copper slag is also used for making abrasive tools, roofing granules, cutting tools, tiles, glass, road-base construction, railroad ballast, asphalt pavements and in the cement and concrete industries. The use of copper slag in cement and concrete provides potential environmental and economic benefits for all related industries.
Right balance: Thermoplastic road marking paints is one of the most common and popular types of road markings, due to their right balance between cost, performance and longevity. Thermoplastic coatings are generally homogeneous dry mixes of binder resins, plasticisers, glass beads, pigments, fillers and additives. Their usage has increased mainly due to the performance benefits of increased durability, retro-reflectivity, excellent adhesion, skid resistance, good visibility, outstanding resistance to traffic wear and abrasion, high softening point (above 95o C), environmentally-friendly (no solvent), fast drying time and excellent heat stability.
Protective mix: The spectrum of protective coatings and linings include epoxies and polyurethanes, intumescent fire-proofing, phenolic tank linings concrete and floor coatings, inorganic zn silicates, inspection services, coal tar epoxies corrosion audits and paint systems, gre, polyesters and vinyl esters, ceramic coating and metallising. Other trending paints: To cut costs on continuous maintenance, many industries are turning to industrialised paints such as epoxies and polymers. Many companies see opportunities in the market and are determined to grow their Omani business.
Specialty chemicals have been used in almost every field including buildings and infrastructure, transportation, consumer goods and industrial sectors. There have also been special effects that bring unique touch and feel to walls. Companies are also introducing water-based and low odour effect finish range in the market.
Manufacturers have now fully developed manual and automatic blasting and painting facilities furnished with the latest equipment and machinery, and also have mobile crews that are equipped to carry out services at the yards or workplaces. They are also working to develop customised products and solutions and have build a good retail network across the Sultanate. Many specialty exterior products have also been introduced in Oman, and is set to grow by leaps and bounds.
With the governments investing more into construction, local production is becoming increasingly important. The paints and coatings activities in Oman will now be well-placed to effectively supply customers in the construction and other sectors. This market, which is mainly driven by consumer preferences for paints and coatings and brand image of the products, has high growth potential with advancements in products, and is expected to see the influx of many new local manufacturers and importers in the next five years.
We can coat any surface in any climate in any colour
- Peter Tomlinson, Managing Director, AkzoNobel Middle East
A leading global producer of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, AkzoNobel´s heritage can be traced back more than 350 years ago. Having established its presence in over 80 countries, the company currently employs around 50,000 people. It is consistently ranked among the leaders in the area of sustainability and has a long track record of developing new products and technologies that help meet the growing demands of the fast-changing world.
AkzoNobel Middle East has operations in more than 15 Middle East countries and Africa. With the regional headquarter in Dubai, the Middle East Company manages the decorative paints, performance coatings and chemicals businesses as well as Performance Coatings Africa. ´Our innovative products might be on the wall of your house, on your mobile device or laptop, in the cosmetics you use, on your furniture or on the cars, airplanes and ships that you travel in,´ says, Peter Tomlinson, Managing Director, AkzoNobel Middle East, as he elaborates on the company´s offerings and the Oman market.
Considering the boom in the construction sector in the Middle East region, what does AkzoNobel have to offer?
The Middle East region has been growing significantly and we are committed to support this growth. In 2012, we concluded a JV agreement with Sadolin Paints Oman and formed Akzo Nobel Oman SAOC. Our site in Muscat manufactures not only decorative paints, but performance coatings products as well. In November 2014, we opened a new powder coating facility in Dubai, which has increased our capacity for its Interpon and Resicoat products approximately five-fold, thereby catering to a growing demand from the construction market and pipeline businesses in the region. The coatings most visible in your daily lives are usually our decorative products or architectural powders, which add a welcome splash of colour to homes, buildings and structures of all shapes and sizes. Meanwhile, our extensive range of protective coatings systems provides a vital barrier against corrosion and abrasion in many different environments. We also supply products for restoration, coil and extrusion coatings, that offer proven durability and fire protection coatings, that expand and insulate (intumesce) when exposed to high heat, thus maintaining structural integrity and giving people more time to escape to building safely.
Introduce us to some of the company´s landmark projects in the Middle East. There are many iconic buildings and projects that we have been involved in, including the Dubai Metro Stations, the Aldar HQ in Abu Dhabi, the Emirates aircraft fleet and the Jeddah Airport.
How does the company align itself in terms of sustainability?
AkzoNobel has been ranked number one on the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the third consecutive year.
We are committed to making our products and operations more sustainable, while being socially responsible. There is still a lot to do, but we are proud of what we have already achieved while making sustainability an integral part of our business strategy and culture. On the product side, we are completely focused on developing technologies that offer clear sustainability benefits.
One great example is our ´Armour Emulsion´, an eco-friendly, low-VOC substitute for solvent-based PU on exterior walls. Armour Emulsion has excellent performance and durability characteristics and a track record in Oman including The Wave project.
What competitive advantages does AkzoNobel have in this market?
With our global scale and expertise, we can coat any surface in any climate in any colour. Whether a project needs a protective or decorative coating, a powder coating, coil coating or wood adhesives, we have the right technology to offer.
How is AkzoNobel supporting the Oman construction market?
We see Oman as a high growth country in terms of construction and are proud to have worked on some of the most renowned projects such as The Wave and new airport terminal in Muscat. Our focus is to present ourselves as a one solution company that can provide decorative as well as performance coatings to suit projects. Our global expertise and customer service are the key to winning projects. Also, the company´s construction teams dedicate their time and expertise to update key architects and decision-makers with new coating technologies and assist them in optimising specifications by selecting the right products with the best finish for every project, without compromising the durability requirements. Furthermore, the company is committed to making cities more human by preserving the cultural heritage and we are constantly looking at products and colour solutions that are aligned with the rich culture of Oman.
Strata, the new floor coatings range from Hempel
Global coatings supplier Hempel has recently launched a new range - Strata - of high-performance multi-layer flooring systems and coatings for concrete floors. Available in the Middle East, the Strata range delivers best-in-class abrasion resistance and mechanical strength for long-lasting protection in demanding applications.
A comprehensive range
The strata range has been developed to meet the most demanding floor specifications with an eye on sustainability and lifecycle costing to reduce the need for cyclical maintenance. The comprehensive range includes a full portfolio of multi-layer flooring systems and coatings, from hardwearing epoxies and screeds to long-lasting fillers, sealers and road markings.
Floors are exposed to different levels of wear and tear and there is a product match in the Strata range for almost any situation û from light and medium to heavy-duty traffic. The products are ideal for demanding applications such as car parks, racetracks, factories, hotels, villas and aircraft hangars. The range also includes odour-free coatings for areas where the indoor environment is in focus and anti-microbial products for food production and laboratories.
Jacob Kuruvilla, Country Manager, Hempel Oman, comments, ´We have developed the Strata range using our vast experience in protective and decorative coatings to deliver unbeatable durability as well as offer an attractive finish. The name Strata is derived from extremely hard rock layers of the earth´s crust, and reflects the products´ promise to provide the ultimate protection for floors.´
Strata´s best-in-class abrasion resistance and mechanical strength has been proven in extensive tests at accredited independent laboratories as well as through onsite application tests.
The products are available in a wide range of standard colours and can be supplied in any requested colour.
´The Strata range complements our existing portfolio of decorative and protective products, and we now provide the full range of coatings for projects,´ confirms Kuruvilla. ´This will help customers reduce project complexity and ensure high-quality protection throughout the building.´
As with other Hempel products, the products in the Strata range are manufactured to ISO 9001:2008 standards in production facilities that meet the ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system and OHSAS 18001:2007 occupational health and safety system standards.