The facility, in the Jhagadia chemical park in Gujarat, will produce 35,000 metric tonnes of the specialty chemicals firm’s Lewatit range of, working in concert with its plants in Bitterfeld in the US and Leverkusen, Germany.
Ion exchange resins, which are also used for water purification in the semi-conductor and food production industries, generated revenue of €1.35bn ($1.8bn) in 2009, which is just over a third of the €5bn the German firm posted that year.
The opening marks the latest stage in a €60m investment programme in India, which saw Lanxess open a plant for the production of chemicals in rubber manufacturing and start work on a facility for plastic earlier this year.
It also makes Jhagadia Lanxess’ second biggest production base in India behind its unit in Nagda, Madhya Pradesh, which makes chemicals for the drug, coating and fragrance industries and will house its chlorination and flavouring competence centre.
In a press release chairman Axel Heitmann said: “India has become our second strongest growth market in Asia and we will therefore continue to drive forward expansion in this country in the next five years.”
Ultrapure water market
A recent report by McIlvaine predicted that demand for ultrapure water production equipment will grow 32 per cent over the next five years to a total value of $4.9bn (€3.6bn) by 2015, with industrial demand in India and China leading the way.
But, while growth of the Asian pharmaceutical manufacturing industry will be responsible for some of this increase, the power generation and electronics production sectors will be the key drivers.
In Europe and the US the picture is different with, according to the report, the pharmaceutical sector likely to be one of the biggest users of ultrapure water and production technologies over the next five years.
The authors suggest that growth of both the biologics and injectable drug sectors will be the main drivers of pharma industry demand, highlighting companies like Siemens, Pall, Millipore and Mettler Toledo as key players.