BHUJ, India—Balkrishna Industries Ltd. is building a 32,000-sq.-ft. research and development center at its Bhuj OTR tire plant, where it will focus on developing the firm's OTR tire range.
The multilevel center will house about 150 technicians when finished next year, according to P.K. Mathur, a technical marketing specialist at BKT who was among a dozen BKT executives who escorted several dozen journalists and customers around the sprawling Buhj complex Dec. 4 as part of a ceremonial opening of the $500 million facility.
The new center will complement BKT's existing R&D facilities in Chopanki and Mumbai, India. The latter hosts several laboratories cooperating closely together at every stage, according to company documents—an analysis laboratory, a chemical laboratory, a physical laboratory as well as an area for rigorous tire testing, while the latter, at BKT headquarters, coordinates all R&D activities.
The Buhj facility is being built adjacent to an outdoor testing facility for tractor and OTR tires.
BKT did not say whether the cost of the R&D center was part of the plant's original $500 million investment.
BKT did say it invests about 3.5 percent of its annual sales into R&D.