German chemical company BASF has launched production at a new chemical complex in Dahej, India.

With a project cost of approximately EUR150 million ($192 million), the new plant represents BASF's largest single investment in India.

Facilities at the new complex include an integrated hub for polyurethane manufacturing and production facilities for care chemicals and polymer dispersions. The site has 200 employees and supports another 300 jobs indirectly.

The care chemicals facility at the Dahej site hosts the first BASF sulfation plant in India, supplying customers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. The polymer dispersions plant complements BASF's existing facility in Mangalore and will serve paper and board, architectural coatings, construction, adhesives and fiber bonding customers in northern and western India.

The integrated polyurethane manufacturing facility will host South Asia's first MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) splitter for processing crude MDI, a core component in the manufacture of versatile polyurethane products. According to BASF these products are used extensively for cold as well as heat insulation applications and are the preferred material for improving safety in transportation and for enhancing energy efficiency and comfort at home.

In addition, the site will produce Elastollan TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), Cellasto (microcellular polyurethane components) and Polyurethane Systems. The integrated hub will support demand from manufacturers in the appliances, footwear, automotive, construction and furniture industries, BASF India Ltd. said.

Dr. Raman Ramachandran, chairman of BASF in India, commented that with the new production hub BASF is well positioned to increase its long-term competitiveness in this key market. "We will serve our customers in the Asia Pacific region even better through stable product supply in terms of both quality and volume," he added.