“In the late 1970s, Korea was a tough market to enter, but thanks to a few European customers who specified JOTUN paints, we had some success. Paint was imported from JOTUN Singapore. But without support from the shipyards and local production, the growth potential was limited, which led JOTUN to signing a license agreement with Chokwang Paint in 1982. In 1988, a joint venture sales office was established with Chokwang Paint.”
That is the first statement that CEO Anthony Wong made at the start of the interview. JOTUN is a Norwegian multinational company established in 1962, while Chokwang is a Korean company that started in 1947. Chokwang Jotun Ltd. was established by combining these two companies. As the marine business grew, Chokwang Jotun bought a paint factory in Yangsan in 1992. To better meet customer needs, an R&D laboratory was established in 1999. Over time, Chokwang Jotun’s market share grew and became an established supplier to the crown jewels of Korea’s shipbuilding industry: Hyundai, Samsung, and DSME.
In 2007, Chokwang Jotun started a separate sales team to focus on the protective market for offshore and onshore customers. In 2009, the company opened a new state-of-the-art factory with a capacity of producing about 40 million liters of paints a year, and built a solid market position.
In last few years, new ship orders declined due to a slowdown in global trade and global excess tonnage, so Korean shipyards began to focus more on offshore structure construction like drillships, jack-up rigs, semi-submersible rigs, floating production, storage, and offloading units, offshore platforms, and more. While Chokwang Jotun marine sales declined, growth in offshore sales somewhat compensated for the loss of marine sales. In a short period, the company achieved the number one position within Jotun global offshore business.
Wong said, “In 2013, out of 354 vessels with DWT of 32 million tons that were delivered in shipyards in Korea, 115 vessels with DWT of 10 million tons were protected with the JOTUN anti-fouling and anti-corrosive coatings system.” JOTUN has a full range of premium corrosion protection and fouling protection products like Resist and Barriers zinc primers, Jotacote and Penguard epoxy primers, midcoat and topcoats, Hardtop polyurethane topcoat anti-foulings SeaForce, Seamate and SeaQuantum range, Tankguard tank coatings range, specialty products Jotachar 750 & Steelmaster passive fire protections (PFP), Baltoflake, a glass flake reinforced polyester coatings, and more.
The performance of coatings is enhanced by proper application, and JOTUN’s strong and well-trained team of coating advisors work with painting applicators to ensure that surface pretreatment is done, and application is carried out according to the painting specification.
“Being one of the 12th largest paint companies in the world, JOTUN has 60 companies in 39 countries to serve a wide range of customers, wherever they are,” Wong explained. In 2000, prior to the ban on TBT anti-fouling paint, JOTUN introduced anti-fouling SeaQuantum, a tin-free anti-fouling based on silyl acrylate technology that not only protects the under water hull from fouling and marine growth, but also makes the coating surface smoother over time. Also, its unrivaled track record on fuel savings proves that it benefits ship owners and operators financially. Close to 10,000 vessels are currently being protected from fouling with anti-fouling SeaQuantum.
In 2011, JOTUN launched a unique Hull Performance Solution (HPS), which combines premium anti-fouling, technical service, and reliable tools to measure hull performance over time, with an unprecedented money back guarantee to ship owners and operators if performance fails.
In Oct. 2013, at Kormarine Exhibition in Busan, JOTUN launched a unique three-step HPS building solution for improving the Engine Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and ship performance. This is offered to shipyards to improve their EEDI to deliver a competitive advantage in new building projects to their customers. The three upgrade components that can be mixed and matched in combination with reliable guarantees will serve the long-term interests of designers, yards, operators, and the environment.
Another exciting innovation from JOTUN is the Jotachar JF 750, an epoxy intumescent coating in 2013. Jotachar JF 750 protects offshore and onshore assets in the oil and gas industry that are at risk from explosion and hydrocarbon fires. Without passive fire protection (PFP) measures, these incidents can escalate rapidly leading to catastrophic loss of life, assets and inventory. Jotachar JF 750 is industry’s first mesh-free, next-generation solution for hydrocarbon and jet fires. Jotachar JF750 incorporates an advanced fibre matrix, eliminating the need for complex mesh reinforcement. When exposed to fire, Jotachar JF 750 produces a robust and temperature-stable insulating char, while the risks associated with incorrect mesh installation are eliminated.
The Jotun Paint School training program is regularly conducted for all its customers whether they are paint applicators, painting specifiers, or anyone who is interested in painting technology. It is a tailor-made module and training course that can be done in one hour or 3 days, depending on the customers’ needs and requirements. This is not a JOTUN promotional program, and the topics range from causes of corrosion, different types of paint technology, common defects and causes, different methods of application, how paints protect structures from corrosion and the aesthetic value of the properties. The objective is to uplift the Korean painting industry on paints and painting technology.
CEO Wong said, “My vision is that we can be a professional and reliable partner to all our customers, and to achieve the number one position in Korea for all the segments we serve.”