SAO PAULO, Brazil - BASF Coatings opened a new production plant in São Paulo, Brazil, for the company's Suvinil architectural-coatings brand, a 6,000-square-meter facility built at a cost of 2 million euros, the company said.

BASF said the plant is part of its Coatings complex at São Paulo, described as the company's primary coatings-production site in South America. The new plant increases the production capacity of the site by 30%; BASF also operates architectural-coatings production plants in Jaboatão and Sapucaia do Sul, Brazil.

Rui Goerck, vice president of BASF's coatings business in South America, said that despite economic difficulties in recent years, South America retains significant strategic importance for the company's coatings business.

BASF has invested about 100 million euros in the region in the last three years, with projects in Brazil accounting for 85% of the expenditures. The company said it holds an architectural-coatings market share of about 30% in the Brazilian market, which is reported to produce around 600 million liters of architectural coatings annually.

BASF acquired the SUVINIL paint brand more than 30 years ago. The Brazilian brand dates to 1961, when two domestic paint companies merged and combined the former brands Super and Vinil.