Norwegian paint company Jotun formally opened its newest manufacturing plant in the Philippines last November 6. The P1.5 billion facility is built on a seven-hectare property in the Light Industry and Science Park III in Santo Tomas, Batangas.
The new facility strengthens Jotun’s 30-year presence in the Philippines. The company initially put up its sales company here with products being imported from its operations in Singapore and Malaysia. Jotun Philippines became operational in 2011 with offices in Sucat, Parañaque and in Mandaue, Cebu.
The new plant has the capacity to produce up to five million liters of paint annually. However, the production output can increase once the company expands the factory in the future.
“It has been the business strategy of Jotun to put up manufacturing capabilities in the market to grow the business faster rather than buying companies. This is why we have put up this facility in the Philippines,” says Morten Fon, president and chief executive officer of Jotun.
The company has been supplying paints for big projects such as the Skyway, the Light Rail Transit, the power plant of GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co., and the Panglao Island International Airport (which is expected to be completed in the middle of 2018). Jotun eyes the growing number of projects in the Philippines, which fits their business-to-business strategy.
Odd Gleditsch D.Y., chairman of the board in Jotun, said it’s about time the company build its own manufacturing plant in the Philippines having been operating in the country for more than 30 years.
“The Philippine market is important for us because we see good growth prospects in the future, especially with the steady increase of investments in business areas where Jotun is relevant such as infrastructure and energy.”
While the major business segment of Jotun is marine and protective (anti-corrosion) coatings, it will also engage in powder and decorative (home interior) coatings. The company said they have yet to see whether they will enter the retail market in the future.
“We will strengthen our already robust trade and political relationships with Filipinos. We also aim to help the region of Batangas by offering employment to the locals,” says Stamatis Slomakos, general manager of Jotun Philippines.
Jotun has been operating in Southeast Asia since the 1950’s and put up its first factory in Thailand in 1968. The company supplies paints to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Burj Kalifa and Burj Al Arab in United Arab Emirates, and the Canton Tower in China, as well as to the Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest luxury cruise ship.
CARLO SUERTE FELIPE