The catalyst production line - the German chemicals giant's first catalyst production capacity in the Asia Pacific region - will be installed at a facility in Mangalore and is expected to be operational by the end of June next year.
Hans-Peter Neumann, senior VP of process catalysis at BASF, said: "This expansion will allow us to cost effectively increase our manufacturing footprint and production capacity, leveraging a existing BASF facility to enhance our proximity to customers in the Asia Pacific region."
This was echoed by Prasad Chandran - chairman of BASF in India - who said that: "By introducing a new production lie for precious metal-based fine chemical catalysts in India, we will expand our offerings to meet the needs of local pharmaceutical producers."
Once the expansion is complete the Mangalore site will become BASF's third catalyst site behind existing plants in Rome, Italy and Seneca, South Carolina.
While it has operated there for many decades BASF redoubled its efforts to build its presence in Asia Pacific since 2007 when it identified the region as a key opportunity in its 2020 growth plan.
At the time BASF's head of operations in Asia - Martin Brudermuller - said: "Local innovation and local production are driving business growth in the region," adding that "we therefore want to develop new applications, products and solutions...adapted for Asian needs and then serve local markets."
In the years since BASF has invested in manufacturing capacity in China, joined new excipients group IPEC India and found a new distributor for drug and food excipients in New Zealand and Australia.
More recently the firm has reiterated its plans to conduct more R&D in Asia in an effort to do at least 50 per cent of its development work in emerging pharmaceutical hubs within a decade.