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India Attracting Investment in Engineering Plastics

Image courtesy of BASF polyamide resin
BASF to expand polyamide polymerization capacity; Covestro ups polycarbonate compounding.

Automotive, electronics, and consumer goods are among the growth drivers advancing engineering plastics demand in India. This is prompting global suppliers to augment their presence in the subcontinent, among them BASF and Covestro.

For its part, BASF is increasing capacity for its Ultramid polyamide (PA) grades at Panoli, Gujarat, with the new volume expected to be available in Q4 of 2022.

“The additional capacity reaffirms our dedication to being our customers’ supplier of choice for polyamides and will help us meet the rapidly growing demand for our Ultramid polyamide grades in India. It will accordingly shorten local delivery times and help us to better meet the just-in-time needs of original equipment manufacturers,” said Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.

BASF is also increasing PA capacity at its site in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, where it will also expand capacity for Ultradur polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). Both these expansions should be completed by Q2 of 2023, with 5000 tonnes of annual capacity in all set to be added.

“The additional capacity will help us meet the strong market demand for our Ultramid PA and Ultradur PBT products, as well as strengthen our market position, especially in ASEAN,” said Postlethwaite. The engineering plastics market in ASEAN is expected to grow at approximately 5% per annum between 2020 and 2030.

Also in India, Covestro recently inaugurated its new production lines for polycarbonate (PC) compounding at its Greater Noida Plant.

The plant has undergone several de-bottlenecking exercises in the past. As of 2017, it was able to support about 50% of the domestic sales of Covestro, while the remaining capacity came from the Map Ta Phut Site in Thailand. With the objective to build a resilient business, the capacity expansion project was initiated in 2017.

This is the first major project in India after Covestro was carved out from Bayer in 2015. With the installation of two new compounding lines, capacity has more than doubled.

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