In the build up to the North African Coatings Congress (24 & 25 October) we spoke to Félix Vicente Mondéjar, Hoffman Mineral GmbH about the challenges affecting the local market. See his responses below:
Implementation of new technologies and European / International norms
Increasing the quality of the formulations as they are historically, is not easy by the simple motivation of improving quality. Only through the implementation of international or European norms, significant improvements in the quality and requirements of the formulations are possible and justify for the producers a higher formulation cost.
Receptivity for new technologies
That means, customers are more open to new technologies and formulation approaches; it does not mean that they will change anything (see question 1) but at least they are no longer surprised by proposals that some years ago were very exotic for them.
Costs and prices were and remain a problem in the region. Since they are more open to new ideas, the market wants to get new raw materials but is not ready to pay higher prices due, in my opinion, to a cultural perception about the lack of added value of coatings and construction materials.
We observe a huge potential in Libya. When the political and civil situation returns to normality, the country has both big resources and potential.
Also in West Africa, countries like Senegal or Ivory Coast show great potential, specifically in the plastics and decorative paints industry.