Chemicals giant BASF is investing more than EUR500m (US$723m) to set up a world-scale acrylic acid complex in Brazil that will supply products including acrylic resins for coatings and textiles.

The investment in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil is the largest in BASF’s 100-year history in South America and will produce acrylic acid, butyl acrylate and superabsorbent polymers (SAP). It will be the first acrylic acid and superabsorbents plant in South America, BASF says.

The company is also planning another first at its existing chemical complex in Guaratinguetá, São Paulo, where it will start to produce 2-ethyl-hexyl acrylate, a raw material for the adhesives and special coatings industries.

“Due to the strong growth in Brazil, the time has come for this important investment,” explained Dr Stefan Marcinowski, member of the board of executive directors of BASF SE.

The construction of the new acrylic acid complex will start in 2011, with production due to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. It will generate 230 direct and 600 indirect jobs.