With a view to expand its offerings and investments in plants and technology for the Indian automotive, electrical and electronics industries, BASF plans to build a new engineering plastics compounding plant at its existing site in Thane. The plant is expected to come on stream by H2-2009.
In 2007, BASF derived over 13% of its total global sales of €58 billion from sales to the automotive industry. Asia is the fastest growing region in the global automotive industry, with car production increasing by 8% last year; and at an average of 15% pa in India over the last few years. Innovations in the automotive industry are increasingly being driven by Asian companies, and BASF supports this trend. Reducing a vehicle's weight by 10% translates into 5-7% less fuel consumption, and BASF's fuel additives can cut consumption by a further 2%. For every kilogram by which the weight of a car is reduced, the environment is spared 25.3 kgs of CO2 emissions over the entire service life of the car. Using plastics in automobile construction therefore also makes sense from an environmental point of view because they are much lighter than steel components.
BASF has also set up a computer aided engineering (CAE) lab in Thane where its engineers design and optimize new engineering plastic parts in close cooperation with customers. BASF Coatings has commissioned a new Refinish Color Lab at Mangalore in February 2008, and is expanding its e-coat facility, which is expected to be completed by end of 2008. Also underway is the expansion of BASF's catalyst plant in Chennai. The plant will triple its capacity by 2009, as announced in August 2007.