The facility's development began in December 2008 with construction completed in June 2009. After a rapid scale-up of trial batches, the plant is now running full commercial production batches. The site currently produces cement additives that improve grinding efficiency, reduce the cost of cement production, and enhance cement performance. In the coming months, the site will also begin manufacturing admixtures for use in the production of concrete. Beyond manufacturing, employees at the location are responsible for supply chain, quality control, product development, sales, and technical service.
"India is one of the world's largest cement-producing nations and a natural location for us to invest in our global network," commented Greg Freeman, vice president and general manager for Grace Construction Products - Europe. "The new facility in Chennai brings us closer to our customers, which enables us to better and more rapidly meet their needs."
In addition to its proximity to customers, this location is expected to benefit from an educated, multilingual workforce, talented scientific pool, and an accessible air and sea transportation network that helps accelerate the delivery of raw materials.
"This facility was conceptualized with a focus on the environment,” said Srinivasan Radhakrishnan, plant manager. “We have integrated green field and recycle concepts to reduce our footprint while also utilizing Six Sigma tools and training to increase our productivity."
Grace has operated in India for more than a decade since the incorporation of the company's subsidiary, W. R. Grace & Co. (India) Private Ltd., in Bangalore. Over the years, offices have followed in Chennai, Gurgaon (a suburb of Delhi), Surat, and Mumbai. In 2005, Grace acquired Flexit Laboratories, a manufacturer of chromatography products headquartered in Pune.
Grace manufactures, distributes or supports several additional products in India, including catalysts and additives used in the refining of gasoline and other fuels; silica products used in consumer and industrial applications; adsorbents that serve as desiccants; packaging sealants and coatings used in cans, bottles, and containers; and chromatography products used in life sciences, organic synthesis, and analytical sciences applications.
Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide range of industrial applications; sealants and coatings for food and beverage packaging; and specialty chemicals, additives, and building materials for commercial and residential construction. Founded in 1854, Grace has operations in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.grace.com.