BASF adds fine chemical catalysts manufacturing in India

Chemical manufacturing giant BASF is opening its first precious metal-based fine chemical catalysts line in the Asia Pacific, adding the operation to its plant in Mangalore, India.

The company said the line expansion is to serve the growing Indian API market. "By introducing a new production line for precious metal-based fine chemical catalysts in India, we will expand our offerings to meet the needs of local pharmaceutical producers," Prasad Chandran, chairman of BASF Companies in India & head South Asia, said in a release.

BASF already has significant manufacturing operations in the country. Its India division last year did $1.5 billion in sales. It said the Mangalore site, which opened in 1996, is BASF's largest manufacturing facility in India and South Asia.

"This expansion will allow us to cost-effectively increase our manufacturing footprint and production capacity, leveraging an existing BASF facility to enhance our proximity to customers in the Asia Pacific region," said Dr. Hans-Peter Neumann, senior vice president of process catalysts and technologies at BASF's Catalysts division.

The company also has fine chemical catalysts operations at plants in Rome, and Seneca, SC.

There has been plenty of action in India in the API side of the industry in India recently. Six weeks ago, GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) said it was closing a 50-year-old API plant in Thane, Maharashtra, India, and will turn to outside API makers for the products that plant made. While GSK is closing its plant, and laying off 330 workers, Hospira ($HSP) recently agreed to pay Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals $200 million for an FDA-approved API plant in Aurangabad, India. The 538,196-square-foot plant was built in 2000 and has 640 workers. The deal also includes an API research and development operation in Chennai, which employs another 190.

- here's the release

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