BASF Expands South American Crop Protection Capacity
German chemical giant BASF is investing more than €30 million in the expansion of its crop protection activities in South America, increasing local production and formulation capacity for its "latest blockbuster products." Brazil is the focal point of the investment, which includes a capacity build-up at the Guaratinguetá chemical complex, about 170 km from Sao Paulo.
By 2014, the Guaratinguetá complex will add a formulation plant for BASF's blockbuster herbicide Heat, recently approved by Brazilian authorities. Another local project is the expansion of a facility to produce the fungicide active ingredient Boscalid, expected to be completed by the end of this month. Additional plans include a formulation plant for the new fungicide Xenium, a next-generation carboxamide product, due on stream in mid-2014.
The German group's spending scheme for South America also includes a new plant for biological products to open in Chile in August of this year, adding to the portfolio of its recently established Functional Crop Care business unit.
BASF's strategy is to considerably enhance local production in the region and build on the investments it has made in recent years, said Markus Heidt, president of the crop protection division. When the new Brazilian plants are up and running, he said the group will increase its exports from the country.