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Sabic to open four technology centers

By: Satnam Singh

December 17, 2012

MUMBAI, INDIA (Dec. 17, 2:15 p.m. ET) — Saudi Basic Industries Corp. will open four technology centers in 2013, one each in Bangalore, India, and Shanghai; and two in Saudi Arabia.

Ernesto Occhiello, Sabic’s senior vice president, technology & innovation, said the centers will handle application development, strategic business research and corporate research.

Sabic is investing more than $100 million on the Bangalore Technology & Innovation Center, Occhiello said at the Antec conference in Mumbai.

The operation will have a broader scope than plastics.

“The center would focus primarily on diverse areas of research in chemistry, material science, process engineering, analytical and application technology. Its aim is to support business as a strategic center of excellence to cater to global and regional needs,” he said.

The Bangalore center will house more than 250 research scientists and 50 commercial team members.

“India is a rapidly growing market and there is a large and highly skilled talent pool available to Sabic to leverage for the global research center,” Occhiello said. “Sabic has great expertise and experience — with a research center set-up in Baroda, [India], in 2002; we are building up and consolidating into a large set-up at Bangalore.”

The India center is scheduled to open in the first half of 2013.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Sabic first announced plans for the center at Chinaplas 2011 in Guangzhou, China. Sabic’s research staffs in India and Shanghai had been housed in General Electric facilities, a legacy of when the unit was part of GE.

When it opens, the Shanghai center will house Sabic’s Greater China regional headquarters.